The story of Warwick’s

Want to learn about the nation’s oldest continuously family-owned and operated bookstore? We’ve got you covered.

The exterior sign at Warwick's in La Jolla

There’s nothing like a trip to Warwick’s.

Photo by Michael Beausoleil + SDtoday

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When you think of La Jolla, Warwick’s is a main character. The local shop calls itself the “nation’s oldest continuously family-owned and operated bookstore,” giving San Diegans a reason to celebrate Independent Bookstore Day tomorrow.

About the bookstore

Warwick’s is named for William T. Warwick who originally opened the store in 1896 in Mankato, MN — then it moved to Waterloo, IA, in 1916. During this time, San Diegans were getting books at Redding’s Book Store in La Jolla, which opened in 1902. Its founder, E.L. Redding, died in 1934 and Warwick bought the La Jolla store from Redding’s wife in 1939.

Though Warwick’s has had a few different addresses in La Jolla, it landed at its home at 7812 Girard Ave. in 1952, and it’s been there since.

Books lining the shelves at Warwicks

You’ll find shelves filled with best sellers, staff picks, and local authors.

Photo by Michael Beausoleil + SDtoday

The plot continues

We know not to judge a book by it’s cover, but we take Warwick’s recommendations pretty seriously. The store is known for its collection of books by local authors, staff picks, events, and author talks and signings — even Ozzy Osbourne has stopped by.

The independent store is beloved by its community, too. In 2021, the building containing Warwick’s was going to be sold, putting its future in jeopardy. Instead, community members pooled resources and bought the property — offering Warwick’s a 10-year lease with two optional 5-year renewals. So, the local shop isn’t on its last chapter.

Pro tip: If you’re traveling and forgot your reading materials, there’s also a Warwick’s inside Terminal 2 at San Diego International Airport.

San Diego International Airport

Local book shopping is also an option.

Photo via Monica Garske + SDtoday

Warwick’s may be the oldest, but it’s not San Diego’s only independently-owned bookstore. Starting tomorrow through Monday, May 1, Warwick’s is participating in the San Diego Book Crawl — an initiative to help locals discover 13 independent bookstores.

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