New Pasadena bookstore to open in honor of author Octavia Butler

A new Black-owned bookstore opens February 18th in Pasadena. 

Nikki High has called the city home for 45 years, and she calls the prolific sci-fi writer Octavia Butler the city's pride and joy. 

High chose to honor Butler’s memory, right in the place she called home—naming her new store Octavia’s Bookshelf. 

This bookstore opening is even more important right now as the iconic Eso Won bookstore closes its doors. For years, Eso Won was the only place you could find books that prioritize Black authors.

"Without Eso Won, I don’t think Octavia’s Bookshelf would be here," said High.

RELATED: Beloved bookstore Eso Won will close by year's end

High said Eso Won set the footprint for people like herself to be able to dream owning a bookstore. 

She quit her successful career and chose to go for her dream, after hearing a powerful message about it at her beloved grandmother’s funeral.

"She was my best friend, my first friend, and she passed away unexpectedly. And I just you know, at that moment, the fire just lit for me and I thought, 'I'm going to do this.' Someone made a comment at her funeral and they said, you know, life isn't short, it's wasted. And it really just struck me," said High.

Naming the store after one of her favorite writers was a no-brainer.

"I started reading sci-fi as a teen, and it wasn't until I was introduced to Octavia Butler's works that I saw Black people in the future. I did think about it reading other sci-fi books like, ‘wow, you know, even a thousand years from now, we're not represented. Where am I? Where are we in these fantastic stories?’"

Octavia's Bookshelf opens Feb. 18 and is located on North Hill Avenue in Pasadena.