Warwick’s | 7812 Girard Avenue | 858-454-0347 |

by Robby Robinson


Walking into Warwick’s is walking into history!  Warwick’s is the oldest continuously family-owned and operated bookstore in the United States.  The year all the fun began – drum roll, please – 1896!  Seriously.  Nancy Warwick is the great-granddaughter of the founder, William T. Warwick, and took the reigns in 1997. In addition to stocking the multitude of books, Warwick’s is also brimming with gift selections of jewelry, pens, leather goods, stationery, art supplies, and party goods.  Sounds too good to be true, doesn’t it?!  The store presents phenomenal online events – feast your eyes on the upcoming events page – wow!

Nancy is eager to give us some fun facts to know about La Jolla’s literary jewel.


Nancy was in elementary school when she first started working at the store.  Her earliest job was making bows with an old fashioned bow machine.  She would sit on the floor of her parents’ office and make piles of bows for the gift wrappers.  I bet her holiday bows were magnificent!

Nancy gives high praise to her parents since the store’s success and reputation has so much to do with their hard work, decision making, and dedication. The store was successful even before their reign.  Nancy’s grandmother, Louise Warwick, was a determined, hard-working woman who didn’t retire until she was 98 years old! What a firecracker!

When asked who were some high elected officials who visited the store, our answer was——Jimmy Carter and Margaret Thatcher.  Nice!

Does Nancy have staff loyalty?  I’ll say!  Adrian Newell, the head book buyer, and operations manager for the book department began his career with Warwick’s in l988.  The store general manager, Joe Porteous, began his Warwick’s years in 1999.  Two other employees just hit the 20-year mark and another three staffers have worked at the store for over 10 years.  What??  This is unbelievable.  Nancy must make killer chocolate chip cookies for snack break.

Ok, fun story. Colin Powell, while setting up to sign his book, My American Journey, asked Nancy what was the largest number of books signed at a Warwick’s author event.  That distinction belonged to Rosie Daley – Oprah’s personal chef – 1000 books. Colin was determined to break that record and assigned one of his assistants to use a clicker to record the numbers.  He told Nancy he would not stop signing until he surpassed that record.  He did!  Until Hillary Clinton showed up and the rest is history.

Stay in touch with Warwick’s – stop in, by phone, website, Instagram, Facebook, or carrier pigeon.  There are so many inspiring events happening!