A Regional Book Shop Is Recuperating by Paying It Forward
According to Jen Hitchcock, entering Book Program resembles taking a peek inside her head. In the middle of decoration that nods to circus and sideshow culture, the wacky Highland Park book shop’s tables and racks are filled with brand-new and classic finds, whatever from major feminist lit to Partridge Household paperbacks from the ’70 s. ” That’s vital literature for everyone,” she jokes of the latter.
Because the 2016 election, Hitchcock, like lots of other individuals, has actually had politics on the brain. ” When Trump got chosen, I began a group called Angry, Nasty Ladies Composing Group,” states Hitchcock, approximating that about 30 individuals appeared to the very first occasion. That group is presently on hiatus, however the shop itself is house to other occasions varying from poetry readings to craft nights. She believes their success may be associated with the present political environment in the U.S. “There’s a requirement for neighborhood, nights like that where you can simply come, do art do something with your hands, speak about things,” she states.
In the summertime of 2017, the shop struck a rough spot. The consequences of the previous year’s election was still resounding, and the the stretch of Figueroa where Book Program lies remained in the middle of modification. Older shops closed, and brand-new locations weren’t rather open yet. “There were a great deal of individuals that got displaced,” she remembers. “There weren’t a great deal of individuals around.” On top of that, pipes concerns from the system above the store caused flooding, with water streaming into the shop.
Hitchcock turned the difficult time into a chance for more neighborhood structure by beginning a pay-it-forward program. If you wish to support the shop, however you still have a stack of books to check out in your home, you can chip in for books that will go to those who can’t manage to purchase one. It’s a subtle method to keep service going while assisting others.
Nowadays, Hitchcock hasn’t been actively promoting the program, however states that individuals still contribute and she still offers books whenever possible. “There are a great deal of homeless individuals in this community. A great deal of them become my pals,” she describes. “They do not have a house, however they’re readers, so I get to provide whatever books they desire through that program without seeming like I’m handing out stock.”
She’s been dealing with other methods to assist get books into the hands of individuals who do not always have access to them. In September and October, the shop teamed up with artist Fin Lee on a drive for LGBT Books to Prisoners. They invested about a month taking contributions and after that hosted an occasion where individuals collected to evacuate the books and compose letters. Hitchcock approximates that they filled 15 or 16 boxes with products varying from finest sellers to LGBT-centric nonfiction to blank journals.
There are strategies in the works for next year, like generating a queer film night and, ideally, dealing with more book drives. “This belongs of me and it’s my social life and I believe most likely in the brand-new year, I’m going to do my finest to keep it the exact same,” she states.
Note: Schedule Program is closed Wednesday-Friday, November 21-23, for the vacation, and resumes Saturday at 11 a.m. for Small company Saturday.