Pages. Manhattan Beach
You can learn a lot about a place from its independent bookstores. One of our favourites is Pages in Manhattan Beach, Los Angeles. We spoke to Margot Farris, the Vancouver born and bred co-founder.
- What is it that you think makes Pages so unique?
It is an independent bookstore created by three/four extremely passionate book lovers who put a lot of thought, energy, entrepreneurial ideas and love into making the store a happy and inspiring place for other book lovers.
- Who are the owners?
Linda McLoughlin Figel, Patty Gibson, Sunni Won and Margot Farris.
- When did you start Pages and what made you decide to start a bookstore?
We opened in March 2010 and we decided to open a bookstore because we love Manhattan Beach, and we wanted Manhattan Beach to have its own independent bookstore.
- What were some of the early challenges?
We opened when the stock market crashed and when people thought e-books were going to wipe out real books. Also, we did not know what we were doing.
- What do you like most about running a bookstore?
Being aware of all the great new books and reading them.
- What are some challenges at this point?
The rent keeps going up and there is so much to do all the time that it can be exhausting and overwhelming.
- What are some events you’ve had at the store that make you most proud?
We recently had an event featuring Father Greg Boyle which 200 people showed up for. And last week we had a beautiful luncheon for author Melanie Benjamin that 45 people showed up for. We have at least one event a week and they are all different, but all are amazing.
- What are some books/series that you see kids getting most excited about now?
The Unwanteds, by Lisa McMann; Alex Rider, Rebel Girls, The Maze Runner, Dog Man, Treasure Hunters, Who Was?, I Survived, Dork Diaries.
- What are some books/series that you see adults getting most excited about now?
Popular now: Little Fires Everywhere, Manhattan Beach, The Immortalists, The Perfect Nanny, Pachinko.
- What kinds of books would you like to see more of?
I love literary fiction and cookbooks.
- What’s one thing you would tell authors as a group if you had a chance?
It is hard for writers to make a living writing books. Get an agent and you’ll do better if you can get a big publisher to pick you up and an editor to help make the book amazing.
- Anything to add?
Whenever possible, people should support an independent bookstore. They add so much to the community and it is better to deal with real people instead of an algorithm. It might be more expensive because independent bookstores don’t discount individual books, but their author events, and personal service more than make up for it.
Header + Final Photo: Jacob Repko
Jacob Repko Website