Books published in San Diego a century ago.

The 57th Annual Local Author Showcase can now be viewed at San Diego’s downtown Central Library.

One of the display cases features books that were published in San Diego a century ago–in the 1920s and 1930s.

When I think of publishing in San Diego, the name Harcourt Brace Jovanovich immediately comes to mind. One of the world’s most important publishers made downtown San Diego their home for many years.

But have you heard of Torrey Pines Press, Hillcrest Publishing Company and the San Diego Printing Company? They and others were producing books in our city a century ago. Even Arrowhead Spring Water Distributors was part of the action!

The San Diego Library maintains a collection of books published or printed in San Diego. It’s called the Wilmer B. Shields Collection. It’s located inside the Marilyn and Gene Marx Special Collections Center on the Central Library’s 9th floor.

Thanks for visiting Cool San Diego Sights!

I post new blogs pretty often. If you like discovering new things, bookmark and swing on by occasionally!

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

Tiny books exhibit at Central Library!

You can fit a whole lot of tiny books, each less than two inches tall, in a display case! That what you’ll notice when you visit the Hervey Family Rare Book Room at San Diego’s Central Library.

One handy thing about a tiny book is you can easily carry it in your pocket.

On the other hand, a tiny book’s content must be very slight, or with print so small you’ll need superhuman eyesight. In fact, some of these very tiny books have been sold with a magnifying glass!

Looking at these amazing little creations, I wonder if a microscope would actually be necessary. According to one sign, a record set for the smallest book is the 3/16 inch by 7/32 inch The Rose Garden of Omar Khayyam.

Many of these unique books are created by bibliophiles and printing enthusiasts. Tiny books are also in demand as collectibles.

I must admit, before the advent of smartphones, The Midget Webster Dictionary (with 18,000 words) in my upcoming photo might have been useful. And tiny Tom Thumb might enjoy that book concerning his history!

The Central Library in downtown San Diego is home to more than 500 miniature books, all part of the Wangenheim Rare Book Collection.

Many of these books must be witty. Because, you know, brevity is the soul of…

Thank you for visiting Cool San Diego Sights!

I post new blogs pretty often, so you might want to bookmark and check back from time to time.

You can explore Cool San Diego Sights by using the search box on this website’s sidebar. Or click a tag! There’s a lot of stuff to share and enjoy!

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

A story about desire that can’t be fulfilled.

The sky turns red and yellow just before sunrise on Mount Laguna. Photo taken at the Storm Canyon Overlook on the Sunrise Highway.

We all have deep-seated desires that can never be fulfilled. It’s an essential part of being human.

There are horizons that cannot be reached, dreams that cannot be realized. But we keep moving forward through life, in that place where we find ourselves, and we never stop hoping.

I’ve published a short story concerning this. It’s titled A Distant Place.

Writing the story was painful. Those who are thoughtful might enjoy reading it.

You can read this short work of fiction by clicking here.

Books celebrated at Local Author Showcase!

The 56th Annual Local Author Showcase is presently on display at the San Diego Central Library!

Local writers whose work was published last year are being honored for their hard work and success. Every sort of book is included in the showcase: fiction, nonfiction, biography, autobiography, mystery, science fiction, fantasy, children’s picture books, poetry, music, history, religion, politics, travel guides, self-improvement . . . you name it! And eBooks, too! The authors, young and old, come from every walk of life, and their words all combine to enrich our shared culture and understanding.

I see that in 2021 books came out about Balboa Park, Ted Leitner, Father Joe, and the Padres. And I see a fun book about a visit to the San Diego Library, too!

If you want to learn more about the City of San Diego’s Local Author Program, check out the web page concerning it here.

The Local Author Showcase can be viewed on the ground floor of the downtown Central Library through the end of February.

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

Minding your p’s and q’s in the Old Town print shop!

Upper case and lower case.

Mind your p’s and q’s.

The wrong sort.

Out of sorts.

I learned yesterday during a visit to the San Diego Union Building in Old Town San Diego State Historic Park that these expressions are believed to come from days long past.

There was a period in history when printing was a tedious operation requiring a hand operated press. To print pages, small cast metal blocks that imprint individual characters were manually assembled into words and sentences. These physical types were set into printable forms by the skilled, quick fingers of print shop compositors.

See all those drawers in the above photo? Each drawer is a type case containing sorts, the particular letters and other characters that are “sorted” into the forms.

Somewhere along the line, capital letters were arranged in an upper drawer: the upper case. Compositors rushing to print a newspaper would sometimes confuse the similar appearing p’s and q’s. Or accidentally choose the wrong sort. Or become disconcerted when they ran out of sorts.

And that how these peculiar expressions are said to have originated!

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

You can easily explore Cool San Diego Sights by using the search box on my blog’s sidebar. Or click a tag! There are thousands upon thousands of photos for you to enjoy!

To read a few stories I’ve written, click Short Stories by Richard.

A mystery concerning several very odd things.

An exquisitely beautiful seagull feather on the wet concrete at my feet.

Have you ever encountered a deep mystery whose solution turned out to be obvious?

A mystery like that unfolds in my new short story A Half Dozen Odd Things.

I love to walk around the city, take photographs, make discoveries . . . and occasionally write short fiction.

Do you love to read?

To solve the surprising mystery of A Half Dozen Odd Things, click here!

I hope you have a great Sunday!


Ghost wind, a walking house and moon stones.

A magical look west toward sails, clouds and the descending sun.

I published another short work of fiction a couple weeks ago. I wasn’t sure I wanted to publicize it on Cool San Diego Sights, but I read the story again this morning and I still sort of like it. So here goes…

Ghost Wind is the title. It’s about life. Your life, my life, everybody’s life. How invisible wind fills our sails. Read it here.

While I’m at it, here are two more that I also published not too long ago. You can find them all on my website Short Stories by Richard.

Night Walking is a story about a walking house. And dreaming.

The Specimen is about throwing moon stones. And yearning.


Have a great day!

More cool sights are on the way!


Exhibition of legendary Posada art in Escondido.

When one thinks of popular Mexican art, traditional images from Día de los Muertos quickly come to mind. The artist most responsible for this cultural identification, José Guadalupe Posada, was a printmaker in Mexico whose often used skeletons and skulls in his illustrations, to make satirical comments on society and the politics of his era.

Undoubtedly you recognize the image in the above photograph. It is Posada’s iconic La Calavera Catrina, a 1910–1913 zinc etching that was later popularized by Mexican painter Diego Rivera. Today La Calavera Catrina is a common sight during Day of the Dead.

According to this Wikipedia article, it’s estimated that during his long career, Posada produced 20,000 plus images for broadsheets, pamphlets and chapbooks… Examples of this material and a wide range of other artwork inspired by José Guadalupe Posada can be viewed at an exhibition now on display in Escondido.

The gallery walls in the Museum at the California Center for the Arts, Escondido are covered with Posada’s bones. There are political figures, and military scenes, and scenes from ordinary life printed in Mexico City by his partner, publisher Antonio Vanegas Arroyo.

I visited the museum this weekend and could plainly see how influential Posada has been in the art world, Mexican culture and world history. I also learned how Posada died a pauper and was buried in an unmarked grave.

The exhibition, José Guadalupe Posada: Legendary Printmaker of Mexico, continues at the Museum at the California Center for the Arts, Escondido through November 21, 2021.

Photograph of Posada’s Workshop, with Posada on the right.
Museum visitor views works of political art inspired by Posada.

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

A story about a dream and night walking.

Photo of suns and moons taken from sidewalk.

I’ve published another short story today. It’s a very odd tale that you might enjoy reading.

It’s about moving through the night. Or about dreaming. Or about living. It is definitely about perception.

I’ve titled this strange little work of fiction Night Walking.

And now, having arranged these few words, I will head out my door and go day walking with my camera . . . through a world that often seems a dream . . .

If you’d like read this new story, click here!

A short story about life, death and laughter.

I’ve published another very short work of fiction. This piece is titled The Fight. It’s about living and dying . . . and laughter.

Perhaps you’ll enjoy this little story. It includes life experiences that are relatable.

Getting this simple story to work has been a struggle. I published The Fight prematurely a couple weeks ago, then pulled it down. A tale about life and death should be written carefully.

And laughter is a serious matter, too!

Now I hope I have things about right.

Read the story here!