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"Carlsbad's Lhooq Books – the after story"

By Ken Leighton

"San Diego Reader" March 31, 2020

 

In September Lhooq Books was told it had two months to pack up and get out of of Carlsbad’s downtown Village area.

The Lhooq Books story does have a happy ending. But it’s not due to the help founder Sean Christopher says he was promised from the city of Carlsbad following the outpouring of support  from longtime locals who praised the funky outpost .

Billed as Oregon's oldest city, Astoria is 1,000 miles away in northwest Oregon. A non-profit there has welcomed Lhooq Books with an expansive venue and a promise of support. Christopher was born and raised in Carlsbad. He says his hometown city government never came through with the love he says he was led to believe he would receive that would help keep his book store in Carlsbad.

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"A Last or a New Look at Lhooq?"

Written by Wendy Hinman

"Carlsbad Magazine" March/April, 2020

  

LHOOQ BOOKS (pronounced "look") is a corporeal gathering site for ethereal discoveries. Reading books takes us time traveling in ways the digital experience cannot. When we sink into a book we're made a soul connection to a protagonist, a storyteller, another world. Walk into Lhooq and the residue of those worlds comes back in the presence of many books. Conversations are born. What was at first felt alone now has a table to share. 

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"End of chapter looms for a Carlsbad icon"

Served with an eviction notice, the owner of the funky arts hub known as Lhooq Books is fighting back

Written by Pam Kragen

"Los Angeles Times" October 14, 2019

    

 

CARLSBAD — Over the last decade, Carlsbad Village has undergone a gradual gentrification, but little pockets of its former, funky self remain. 
But one of the village's most unique gathering spots, the alleyway arts hub known as Lhooq Books, may soon disappear. 
 After 12 years operating a rare and vintage book sales business on Carlsbad Village Drive, fourth-generation Carlsbad native Sean Christopher was unexpectedly served with a 60-day eviction notice last month. 
 Without a reprieve from his landlord, Christopher has until mid-November to vacate the property, which is both a stand-alone business and an adjoining home, where the single father has lived for the last decade with his 10-year-old son, Jack.
 Christopher, 45, said he has always paid his rent on time and over the years has invested thousands of dollars and hundreds of hours of sweat equity fixing up the once-derelict properties, so the eviction came as a shock. 

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"Carlsbad book store owner handed sudden eviction notice"

By Jared Aarons

TV news on "abc10 News San Diego" October, 2019

   

CARLSBAD, Calif. (KGTV) — Lhooq Books is the kind of place where easy reads mix with just about everything else.
Owner Sean Christopher has spent years building this collection and re-building the location. Basically replaced, repaired or deep cleaned absolutely every inch of the property," Christopher says.
He spent thousands of dollars turning a run down shack into an overstuffed book store, coffee bar, and community library and arts hub.
He rents the space and his home next door from the same property management company. But this fall, when he called to ask about his lease, he instead got a 60-day notice to vacate.
It was complete and utter shock because there was not even a hint of anything wrong going on," Christopher said.

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"Lhooqing for shelter"
Beloved bookstore booted by big Ben Siegel

Written by Ken Leighton

"San Diego Reader" October 17, 2019

  

Sean Christopher says his Lhooq (pronounced “look”) Books in Carlsbad is one of only about seven independent book stores left in the county, now that market forces have felled such longtime booksellers as Adams Avenue Books, 5th Avenue Books, and 50,000 Books. He says he has over 50,000 new and used books for sale, including "the final hand-typed draft of the Pulp Fiction screenplay with Quentin Tarantino's handwritten notes, a very rare leatherette of Edgar Allen Poe, a hardcover of Catcher in the Rye, and an original printing of Abby Hoffman's Steal This Book." Hidden San Diego called Lhoog Books, a funky shop housed in a small barn built in 1941, "a hidden gem, the best bookstore in all of San Diego by far." (Hidden indeed: it's quite a contrast to the massive new multi-story development currently enveloping downtown Carlsbad. )

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"Interview with Sean Christopher (Unabridged)"

By CARRILLOKAYRA

"World Spark" Interviews

December, 2018

 

I had the pleasure of talking to Sean Christopher, owner of Lhooq Books and The Exrealism Project. Lhooq Books, located in Carlsbad California, is a distinct bookstore with art plastered everywhere, and the unexpected inside. This bookstore is one of my favorite spots to stop by when I walk around Carlsbad, as it is its own little world, and Christopher answered all my questions.

Part of your store leads out to an enclosed area with a big screen, chairs. I understand that occasionally you host movie nights in this spot that can also be used for readings and lectures–why did you decide to utilize your space in this way when you can instead use it to hold more books?

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"BOOK NOOKS Check out Carlsbad's community libraries, which make reading fun for everyone"

Written by Wendy Hinman

"Carlsbad Magazine" March/April, 2017

Carlsbad Magazine  Carlsbad Magazine  Carlsbad Magazine

LHOOQ BOOKS (pronounced "look"). Lhooq, a rare bookstore and underground art venue tucked away on Carlsbad Village Drive next to Garden State Bagel, has a 24/7 "honor system" community library/bookstore outside. The proprietor, Sean Christopher, is also a writer.

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"LHOOQ/EXREALISM VINTAGE BOOKSTORE"

"Hidden San Diego" September, 2015

   

 

Several years ago after attending an art show in Carlsbad, we were heading home when an incredibly interesting building caught my eye. “Turn around!” The place was not open when we stopped by but I was fascinated with the bookshelves which lined the foundation of the store, filled with books that were free to the community. What a cool, selfless idea, I thought. We need more people on this tip.

Fast-forward to mid 2015 when I get a message from the owner, Sean Christopher, that the city is trying to shut them down! The nerve! Here’s a unique concept that is giving back to the community and the city is looking for any microscopic issue to cause problems for them. This is a current issue and with the help of the people, hopefully they will get to stay around!

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"Unique bookstore forced to close temporarily"

By Ellen Wright

"The Coast News" August 6, 2015

 

CARLSBAD — Along a non-descript portion of Carlsbad Village Boulevard, behind a Taco Bell and a KFC, stands a few bookshelves.

All day, people stream in and out to browsing the shelves for books that are available through a barter and donation program.

Founder of Lhooq Books/Exrealism Sean Christopher encourages community participation and hopes the shelves will create a community gathering space.

“I’ve always wanted to keep it small and have it be everyone’s little secret,” Christopher said.

Until last week, he also operated a bookstore with hand curated vintage books for sale.

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"Bookseller shares love of literature in unique way"

Written by Rachel Stine

"The Coast News" June 11, 2013

Sean Christopher and Jack at Lhooq Books  Sean Christopher and Jack at Lhooq Books 

If a cook needs a restaurant — a writer needs a bookstore. So says Sean Christopher, a budding author, who began his own unique bookstore where passerby can take any book they find. Bookseller shares love of literature

CARLSBAD — Sitting in his little bungalow house off of Jefferson Street, Sean Christopher began to describe one of the many reasons he is passionate about books. 

“A book can be old and yellow and crispy, and that story —”

Christopher couldn’t finish his sentence before his 4-year-old Jack interjected — “Dad, watch me get the golden egg,” he said, wanting to show off his aptitude for playing Angry Birds on his dad’s iPhone.

“I am, Buddy,” Christopher said before resuming his sentence. “That story is the same story as the first edition that is worth thousands of dollars.”

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