Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Local Bookstore Highlight: Adams Ave Books

San Diego hosts a great deal of independent bookstores, all with a unique vibe. Local bookstores are often venues for amazing events- a point of access to the vibrant children's lit community here in San Diego.

My favorite will always be my neighborhood shop, Adams Ave Book Store. This two-story used bookstore has been in business since 1965, making its home in an old residential building. With a wink at their customers recipes books are in the kitchen, and at the back of the first floor you will find the children's room (pictured). Books are organized and alphabetized to make searches for specific books easy, but, as actual children also buy books here, many books are piled on the floor or tables. Adams Ave Books certainly has recent and popular books, but also makes a point to carry older, collectible books.

Because of my Indigenous and Decolonization Lit class a first edition collection of colonist-slanted titles like Maori and Settler and The Young Colonist caught my eye. A little research revealed that the author was G.A. Henty, a 19th century author who wrote war adventure stories (obviously marketed for boys), some informed by his firsthand experience as a soldier for British imperialism. Henty has been studied critically; a 1991 article in Children's Literature Association Quarterly by Mawuena Logan states that "When we study the works of Henty we are in touch with racial myths that have yet to be fully dismantled" (Children's Lit Quarterly, Volume 16, No 2, 1991). In any case, I couldn't afford the whole collection but I will be returning to look at Henty more closely.

I recommend following Adam's Ave Books on Facebook- they often post when they get new and interesting merchandise or advertise discounts- in the past they've offered discounts to college students the month before a new semester begins.

Adams Ave Books is inhabited by two cats, Bartleby (pictured) and Felixia.

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