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Pasadena's Getting A Bookstore Named For Sci-Fi Author Octavia Butler

A Black woman wearing glasses and a brown sweatshirt sits on a couch in front of a window, looking toward the camera.
Octavia's Bookshelf owner Nikki High plans to open the new bookstore by mid-to-late February.
(Courtesy Nikki High)
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Pasadena is set to get another independent bookstore: Octavia's Bookshelf. Owner Nikki High said she hopes to highlight authors who are Black, Indigenous, and other people of color.

High chose the name as a tribute to Pasadena native, science-fiction author and MacArthur fellow Octavia Butler who died in 2006. Butler was one of the first to feature people of color in sci-fi novels.

"She was the first Black sci-fi writer that I read, and it was the first time that I saw Black people in the future," High said.

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High has received some funding support for the bookstore through GoFundMe where updates on the store's progress have been posted. She decided to open the bookstore after her grandmother died last May.

"I also like to think that we all have an Octavia in our lives — someone who is before their time, a wordsmith. And I just thought it was a neat way to honor all of the Octavias in our life," High said.

Octavia's Bookshelf is scheduled to open by mid-to-late February. The bookstore will be located north of the 210 Freeway at 1361 North Hill Avenue.

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