The Coast News Group
Outside of Lhooq Book is a donation-based library where patrons can trade a book or donate money to take one. The bookstore was just given the go-ahead to re-open after the city shut it down for code compliance issues. Photo by Ellen Wright
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Local vintage bookstore reopens

CARLSBAD — Sean Christopher, owner of Lhooq Books, reopened last weekend after receiving a notification from the city to close.

He was notified to close because of permitting problems and is now working with the city to prove the property has a history of commercial use.

Christopher, who also lives adjacent to the bookstore, said he was “cautiously optimistic.”

“I still feel like I’ve got to dig in and make sure that I’m officially cleared and get all my licenses approved,” Christopher said.

He has also started an online fundraising campaign. He aims to raise $15,000 to renovate the bookstore and ensure that it’s completely compliant with all city codes.

“I’m making sure I cross all my t’s and dot all my i’s,” he said.

He wants to do all the renovation projects without using credit cards or taking out a business loan.

He also plans on hosting live fundraisers and details will be available on the Facebook page of Lhooq/Exrealism as they become available.

He had hoped to get a temporary business license but said he was denied. He believes that he was given the green light to reopen so quickly because community members started calling city staff.

The next step is to find concrete proof that the building has been used commercially and Christopher is working with library staff to locate historical documents that will help his cause.

“We had proved ourselves to be exactly what we are, which was a nonprofit that works with all ages. We have workshops that work with kids and we worked directly with school districts,” Christopher said.

He has a nonprofit book library in the front in which people can exchange books or take them for a donation.