‘Run For Cover’ Bookstore Opens on Voltaire Street in Ocean Beach

by on October 12, 2018 · 7 comments

in Ocean Beach

A new store review

by Bob Edwards

For many years it has been the conventional wisdom that independent bookstores are dying out – some say murdered – by the growth of Amazon and megastores like Costco. Walmart, and Target all of whom offer bestsellers at steeply discounted prices. According to a report on NPR, the number of independent booksellers in the United States fell 40 percent in the five years after Amazon opened in 1995. With the introduction of Kindle and other e-readers in 2007, more brick and mortar bookstores closed.

Ocean Beach suffered the loss of bookstores, new and used, during those years. In fact, other than limited selections of best sellers at local drug store chains and the small but intriguing book section at the Black on Newport (which specializes in counter-cultural, music, and graphic books), there has been no place to buy new books in OB.

Recently, many readers across America have been rejoicing as the trend seems to be reversing with a spate of independent bookstores opening nationwide. Since 2009 the number of indie book stores in the U.S. has bounced back to 2,321, an increase of 40%.

Inside. All photos by Bob Edwards

Ocean Beach is fortunate to be getting in on this trend as local resident Marianne Reiner opened the doors to her new store Run For Cover on October 5th. Located at 4912 Voltaire, near Cable Street, the clean and airy store offers a wide selection of books in many categories. Run For Cover also sells greeting cards and some apparel items, as well as having a small café serving beverages and snacks.

Born in France, Marianne has been an OB resident for 20 years. Her children attend local schools. “We’re rooted in the community and want to support it”, Marianne said.

She’s been an avid reader since childhood and says that books were always around her growing up as both her librarian father and pediatrician mother were bookworms.

Entrance to Book Nook

Owning a retail store is a new career for Marianne who trained as a lawyer and has worked with Doctors of the World, an organization that provides assistance to refugees and other vulnerable people. In recent years she has also worked as a legal translator for clients all over the world. Like many readers she enjoys a variety of genres, her favorites being fiction, current events, and political topics.

A perusal of the store’s shelves shows that the owner has curated an interesting and eclectic collection of books. Particularly strong categories include fiction, art and architecture, gardening, current events, and personal finance. The “Book Nook” children’s section is a comforting and welcoming part of the store that parents and kids seem to love. On the children’s shelves are an interesting mix of books ranging from classics to more recent books that promote kindness, tolerance, and cultural awareness.

Inside Book Nook

Run For Cover will offer discounts to local teachers as well as to customers who make bulk book purchases for classes and book clubs. Marianne says she plans on carrying books needed for Point Loma High’s AP English class as well as books on other local schools’ reading lists.

Special orders can be filled for “pretty much anything in print” she said, with delivery from the distributor to the store within 24 to 48 hours.

The café offers coffee, espresso drinks, and tea. My go-to test drink for new coffee places, an extra dry cappuccino, was prepared perfectly by the friendly barista from quality ingredients provided by Café Moto. Three different bakeries provide a variety of savory and sweet pastries including some that are vegan. Croissants, pain au chocolat, and quiche come from the French Oven in Scripps Ranch where a native French baker works his magic.

Customers’ book suggestions.

The store and café are open later on Fridays and Saturday and it is hoped that OBecans will drop by for dessert, coffee, and tea on those evenings.

When asked about her vision for the future of Run for Cover, Marianne said she hopes the store will still be a fixture in the neighborhood 20 years from now. The store will soon inaugurate a book club and “readings from visiting authors are in the pipeline”, she says.

Throughout my visits to Run for Cover there was a steady flow of customers, mostly local but some from as far as East County.  The opening of a bookstore is a special occasion these days and Ocean Beach is lucky to have one blossoming in our community.

Run For Cover is located at 4912 Voltaire Street in Ocean  Beach. Find the store’s hours and other information on their webpage .

{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

tia October 12, 2018 at 5:41 pm

Looking forward to checking this out. Thanks


thequeenisalizard October 13, 2018 at 11:09 am

Finally some good news for folks that read books.


dickie October 13, 2018 at 4:25 pm

Independent bookstores are indeed coming back. In the neighborhood I used to live in in Oakland there are now three within a few blocks and that is after the big chains . . . Borders, B&N, etc. put a few out of business in the ’90s. Books are still the best technology for containing and transmitting wisdom!


editordude October 15, 2018 at 1:16 pm

So says you – one who creates books.


Frank Gormlie October 15, 2018 at 11:36 am

For a long time, OB did have a used book store on Cable right off Newport I believe. They also published the original “The Beacon” in the back for a while, until it was sold. I think the book store closed in the 1990s.


Ol OB Hippie October 15, 2018 at 1:15 pm

I’ll come by for the croissants.


Molly October 15, 2018 at 1:17 pm

What a great little article about a great little bookstore.


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