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San Diego Bookstore Encourages Shoppers To Put ‘Indies First’

Photo caption: A book display at Mysterious Galaxy in San Diego advertises the independent b...

Photo by Andrew Bowen

A book display at Mysterious Galaxy in San Diego advertises the independent bookstore's "Indies First" event in a photo taken on Nov. 25, 2015.

San Diego bookstore Mysterious Galaxy is hosting a special event Saturday to bring local writers into the community. Eight San Diego authors will be volunteering in the store and recommending their favorite reads to shoppers.

"They've given us a list of their favorite books, we've ordered them, and they're actually going to be in the store throughout the day, approaching customers and trying to what we call 'handsell' their favorite books," said Mysterious Galaxy manager Bunny Hand. "It should be fun."

The event is part of Indies First, sponsored by the American Booksellers Association and meant to coincide with American Express' Small Business Saturday. Authors working at Mysterious Galaxy on Saturday are Kathy Aarons, Lisa Brackmann, Vernor Vinge, Greg Van Eekhout, Leah Thomas, Kat Rocha, Livia Blackburne and Matt Coyle.

Hand said it's difficult for local bookstores to compete with the sharply discounted prices offered by Amazon.com, but that online retailers could not replace the community that places like Mysterious Galaxy help create.

"We have very loyal customers," she said. "If anything happened to us, we would have people who would have nowhere to go. Literally, some people come in every day. ... So (independent bookstores are) really important."

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