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Octavia's Bookshelf, highlighting BIPOC authors, opens this weekend in Pasadena

Octavia's Bookshelf highlights BIPOC authors
Octavia's Bookshelf highlights BIPOC authors 03:01

A Pasadena Black-owned independent bookstore is set to open this Saturday.

Octavia's Bookshelf is intended to inspire readers of all ages, just as the store's namesake, Octavia, was an inspiration to owner Nikki High. Octavia Butler was an awarded, Black author who was born in Pasadena. Hence the store's name. 

And what's on the bookshelves in High's dream-come-true venture? Lots and lots of books by Black, Latino, Indigenous writers and other authors of color.

"I think it's really important for BIPOC people to have a space where they are celebrated everyday I know in larger book stores it's hard to stand out from the books because they have so many different titles." said High. 

For this to come together, High said she had to dream big. She left the corporate world to take a chance on a little bookshop with a niche array of BIPOC authors. She posted her job change on Twitter, "I took the leap and quit my job to open my very own bookstore," and her GoFundMe page began to get nationwide attention.

"Oh my gosh. I got donations from around the nation, so many people donated to my campaign. And I was so grateful. I still stand in such gratitude for that help. I was opening this bookstore out of my own pocket, so I launched the GoFundMe in hopes that I could offset some of those costs, and boy did the community at large come through for me. I'm so, so happy," said High.  

High said she's been a lifelong reader, always drawn to libraries and bookstores. She hopes that Octavia's Bookshelf will draw readers of all ages and backgrounds to see stories and creative expression told from a different lens, to explore new authors...and perhaps gain a new perspective.

Otavia's Bookshelf is located at 1361 North Hill Ave., Pasadena. Opening day is Saturday, Feb. 18, with opening festivities taking place from 10 a.m. to noon.

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