Book Scene: San Diego is a forthcoming project for 2018
Book Scene: San Diego is a web video series that will explore the world of the book: a printed object which is both a commodity as well as the conveyer of culture, ideas, and dreams. Viewers will meet independent and used book sellers, book collectors, librarians, and others in the book world as they learn about the past, present, and future of the book in San Diego.
The series is part history, as we look at bookstores that made an impact on San Diego, like the Ye Old Book Shoppe (founded in 1927, merged with Wahrenbrock’s in 1951, sadly closed in 2009, and still stands a vacant shell downtown).
We’ll also see the changing nature of the book scout with the advent of the Internet and mobile technology. We’ll talk to experts on the impact of e-readers, Amazon, self publishing, and what it all means to sellers, readers, writers, and collectors.
Local book collectors specialize in quirky obsessions and rare treasures from around the world. The university libraries’ special collections struggle to bring in scholars in the age of digitization by seeking more manuscripts, artist books, and unique items.
While the county used to be home to over 100 used bookstores, the number has sadly diminished, as more used books are sold online. Still, used bookstores exist and San Diego County also contains several thriving independent bookstores, in addition to a large number of book clubs, writing organizations, artist books, miniature books, fine press printing, and other facets of the book world and print culture, both in English and Spanish. San Diego is also home to one of only 16 nonprofit membership libraries in the U.S., The Athenaeum Music & Arts Library.
While the days when San Diego had a major publisher are gone with Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, San Diego still has a number of small presses as well as a fairly major player in the comics industry with IDW Publishing.
In addition, San Diego has a rich history with famous authors, from L Frank Baum and Coronado to the lesser known Jules Verne novel which begins in our city and for which the author corresponded with a local dentist’s wife for details. Raymond Chandler fictionalized La Jolla and modern authors continue to write from and about our city. San Diego has booklore and fascinating people who love books.
Producer Kim Keeline has a Ph.D. in English Literature. She is also a book collector who is married to a book collector and researcher, so that may explain the over 8,500 books in their tiny home. She has the connections to local bookstores, library special collections, collectors, authors, and local organizations to make this series possible. These connections come from her role in reestablishing the local chapter of Sisters in Crime, her years of work in the arts nonprofit world in San Diego, and her time as an academic. She is also a member of the Zamorano Book Club of Southern California.