Rival Booksellers Volunteer at San Diego Bookstore After Owner Undergoes Surgery

February 26, 2019


An independent bookstore in San Diego is depending on the kindness of rivals to help it stay afloat after the owner's emergency surgery. The Washington Post reports that on January 27, 43-year-old Book Catapult owner Seth Marko underwent emergency open-heart surgery. His wife and co-owner, Jennifer Powell, closed the store to be with him and care for their 3-year-old daughter. (Their only other employee was coincidentally sick with swine flu.) That's when the couple's friends and rival bookstore owners, Scott and Josephine Ehrig-Burgess of the Library Shop, sprung into action by calling other booksellers for help on Marko and Powell's behalf. "People were like, ‘What can I do to help? Do you need somebody to be in the store?’" Scott recalled. “I called four booksellers and had four volunteers.” Book Catapult has been manned by volunteers ever since, with Marko hoping to get back into the swing of things this spring. "I probably cried a little bit,” he said about the help he's received. “The bookstore is like having a kid. You put so much into it.”