Earth Song Books in Del Mar to close in November


By Claire Harlin

Staff Writer

Earth Song Books & Gifts, which has been part of the Del Mar community for more than 40 years, will close its doors in November.

“For a long time, we’ve been competing with Amazon and Kindle, and our customers haven’t been supporting us in this economy,” said owner Annette Palmer. “We have to close because the funding just isn’t there. The numbers just don’t add up.”

Earth Song opened in 1969, and Palmer, with the help of her family, bought the independent bookstore in 2007, only days before wildfires began to ravish nearby areas. She was 24 when she became owner of the store, located at 1440 Camino Del Mar, which she said she fell in love with at first sight. She found out the store was for sale from a Craiglist ad, advertising a $250,000 price tag.

“I was just out of college and owned a bookstore by the beach,” she said. “It was my dream.”

Palmer said she has already started writing a book about her experience.

The closing comes just after the shuttering of Book Works, an independent bookstore that operated at Flower Hill Promenade for 35 years. Across the country, the diminishing of bookstores has been a trend.

“When I heard Book Works was closing I was shocked,” said Palmer. “We thought they were doing better than us because they have a good location and better parking. But we are all hurting.”

Palmer said she is extremely sad, but “grateful to the people of Del Mar who made Earth Song what it is.”

In upcoming weeks, Palmer said, Earth Song will be holding many sales and events, which will be announced on the store’s Facebook and Twitter ( pages.

“I invite the community to come in and say goodbye,” she said.

Del Mar Art & Gifts will officially take over the space on Nov. 15 and open for business on Nov. 19. The shop will offer items such as paintings, sculptures, handmade greeting cards, hats, ceramics, candles, lotions and other gifts.

“It will be more of an art store than a traditional gallery,” said owner Athur Ball, who just signed the lease on the shop this week. “We want to offer items that aren’t a gazillion dollars.”

Ball, who has previously owned three galleries and two printing companies, said the shop will feature about 25 artists’ work.