Vinyl records and books have been back for a while, but Laura and Collin Insley of Books + Rec Shoppe want to make the two analog mediums a combined experience. Since July, the two have been bringing their pop-up shop to flea markets and festivals while also spreading their concept via a quarterly zine and weekly updates to their blog at www.booksandrec.com.
What drives the shop is the love of music, be it vintage, live or local. The blog includes online features on bands, music sweepstakes, scene updates and videos. “For many people, digital is way easier, but B + R has come onto the scene in an interesting time when people are paying attention to analog again,” Laura Insley explains. (Full disclosure: Laura Insley is a former OC Weekly employee.) “Whether it's a fad or not, it's awesome, and we love it!”
At its pop-ups, Books + Rec sells plenty of 1-inch buttons, which are handmade with images from vintage magazines, books and vinyl covers, as well as its inventory of used records, books and other related antiques. It also offers copies of Back to Analog, a zine that includes content pulled from the blog. “We love doing it because it forces us to be creative and make something tangible to distribute our ideas on analog, books, music and related topics,” Laura adds.
Books + Rec has appeared at events including OC Zine Fest, San Diego Zine Fest and the Great Rock N' Roll Flea Market, and it will be hitting up the upcoming Patchwork Festival, Dia de Los Discos and IE Zine Fest. While the Insleys' dream is to open a physical Books + Rec Shoppe, the No. 1 goal remains promoting local artists and being an advocate for physical media because, as Laura puts it, “you can't fall in love with a digital download.”
Aimee Murillo is calendar editor and frequently covers film and previously contributed to the OCW’s long-running fashion column, Trendzilla. Don’t ask her what her favorite movie is unless you want to hear her lengthy defense of Showgirls.