Jen Hitchcock invites you to experience BOOKSHOW.
Photo Judy Ornelas Sisneros
We live in an age now, where online shopping has taken over. It is possible that some kids have never stepped foot in book store. What are they missing?
Well…beside the most obvious, social interaction… I feel like they are missing out on a great sensory experience in life!!! The touch, feel and smell that also goes along with books. Book Stores tweak ALL of the senses. And YES even taste….(I have a gumball machine in my shop and who doesn’t love sipping beverages while hunting down a good book). They are missing exploring, meandering, wandering and discovering. The whole incredible experience that so many of us link to a bookstore experience. It isn’t just about going in and getting the book you have in mind, which is a big part of the online experience. There are so many things to discover and learn in a brick and mortar shop. And they are missing building great memories that go beyond just buying a book. I mean… doesn’t every RomCom feature a scene where someone meets the person of their dreams in a BOOKSTORE? Joking aside, there are books I have read and only keep around because it evokes a memory of the bookstore I got it in, who I was with, why I was there. I can recall where I picked up many of the books in my personal library, or who gifted them to me. There is so much more to books than information on a page. They are pieces of art. They are cultural artifacts. The story goes beyond what is in the pages.
Your store, BOOKSHOW, hosts many classes and workshops. Are any suitable for kids and families? If not, do you anticipate adding such events?
I would say Book Show is primarily a grown person book store. My kids section is definitely geared more towards kids aged 8 and up. I do have a lot of classics and nostalgic finds that parents get excited about turning their kids on to. It is pretty common to hear “I read this when I was your age…” But in general I think it depends on your family whether my store is for you… there might be some books a kid would see on the way to the kids section that would elicit a conversation. There is lots of curse words and sexuality of all shade in my shop. It truly is a book sideshow… and like a carnival atmosphere…there are things that are appropriate for kids, and things that are not. You just kind of have to know that coming in.
However, I do have an ongoing performance magic workshop that is definitely geared towards kids 10 and up, and have hosted a few kids fanzine making workshops and am always looking to schedule great workshops that are good for pre-teen and teens.
I also have the best dollar book carts in town that are always stocked with lots of books for younger children… board books, picture books, early chapter books. All for a buck a piece!
What are some of the diverse children’s books sitting on the shelves in your store today?
In my kids section:
“Raggedy Ann and Andy and the Nice Fat Police Man” (1960)
“The Call of the Wild” by Jack London
“Heather has Two Mommies” by Leslea Newman
“What Was Bugging Ol Pharoah?” By Charles Shultz (Snoopy’s creator!)
-- It is a book of cartoons featuring teenage characters. It is from the 1960’s.
The hysterical part about it is the characters basically look like the
Peanuts characters only stretched out taller and skinnier.
In other parts of the store:
“The Gay Romance Coloring Book”
“The Prince Zine” by Joshua James Amberson/illustrated by Rachel Lee-Carman
“A Thousand Ways to Please A Husband with Bettina’s Best Recipes” (1932)
“Coiled Serpent: Poets Arising from the Cultural Quakes & Shifts of Los Angeles”
To learn more about Jen Hitchcock, go to bookshowla.com
or contact her by instagram and twitter.