Skylight Books, Free Events, and Author Readings

Illustration by Janet Ali

Illustration by Janet Ali

Skylight Books, one of the last independent brick and mortar retail stores in the Hollywood area, offers free events with author readings, and audience interaction almost daily. Supporting the literary arts and building an active community is one of Skylight's strongest points.  

Skylight Books is full of patrons gathered to hear author Xuan Juliana Wang read from her new book "Home Remedies." One excerpt she reads garners much laughter and attention from her audience

"Puking outside of a gay club after too many tequila shots, while your gay best friend rubs your now whale-sized back, mechanically, as if he were washing a minivan. In your drunken rampage, you ask him, if you two were the last people on earth, would he consider a domestic partnership? Solution: Join a gym and torture yourself. Once you become skinny again you can puke outside of regular clubs," says Wang reading from her book "Home Remedies."  

Wang, aside from being an author, also teaches a creative writing workshop at UCLA and a senior seminar on Asian American Literature.  “Writing is the way I make meaning, to make sense of lived experience. I can't imagine what could happen to me that would absolve me of that need," says Wang.  

Skylight Bookstore has done a lot for many authors by providing them with the ability to engage with their audience and sell signed copies of their books. "We tend to book our in-stores 3-4 months in advance … We have a limited in-store schedule, so it is pretty competitive to get an in-store event,” says Assistant Events Manager at Skylight Books, Madeline Gobbo.

Retail stores with physical locations aiming to better our community through social events are rare. Skylight Books excels at this, but still faces the challenges that most brick and mortar stores face in this digital era.  

"Some things about it [operating a retail bookstore] is tough, and other things about it is easy and wonderful. The tough things are always money and paying the staff enough, and making sure that we keep our heads above water. The easy things are building community and reaching out to customers and giving people recommendations that they would not have otherwise heard of. That is always wonderful," says Gobbo.  

To find out about all upcoming visit Skylight Books online.