Hello everyone! This is a friendly reminder that any of these fun places we may visit, we are a guest at. Please treat both businesses and trails with the utmost respect. We here at Hidden San Diego follow the 'Leave no Trace' mantra, meaning whatever you bring with you comes back with you. If you see trash on a trail, please do your part to help remove it. Remember, we are not picking up trash from another person but instead cleaning up for Mother Nature. Happy adventures!

lhooq exrealism bookstore

1/2, 755 Carlsbad Village Dr,
Carlsbad, CA 92008

Phone: (760) 390-4688
33.160843, -117.345894

Dog-Friendly: Yes    Kid-Friendly: Yes

Hours: Mon Closed Tues/Wed: 10:00 am - 7:00 pm Thu 9:30 am - 7:00 pm Fri/Sat: 9:00 am - 8:00 pm Sun 9:00 am - 6:00 pm



**The city sadly shut this business down but we will be keeping this page up in its memory**

Several years ago after attending an art show in Carlsbad, we were heading home when an incredibly interesting building caught my eye. "Turn around!" The place was not open when we stopped by but I was fascinated with the bookshelves which lined the foundation of the store, filled with books that were free to the community. What a cool, selfless idea, I thought. We need more people on this tip.

Fast-forward to mid 2015 when I get a message from the owner, Sean Christopher, that the city is trying to shut them down! The nerve! Here's a unique concept that is giving back to the community and the city is looking for any microscopic issue to cause problems for them. This is a current issue and with the help of the people, hopefully they will get to stay around!

So what is LHOOQ/Exrealism? Lhooq (pronounced "look") is a vintage bookstore and venue for artists of all mediums. They have dreams and aspirations to grow much bigger so let's help them out! According to Wikipedia, L.H.O.O.Q. is a work of art by French artist and writer, Marcel Duchamp. First conceived in 1919, the work is one of what Duchamp referred to as readymades, or more specifically an assisted ready-made. The readymade involves taking mundane, often utilitarian objects not generally considered to be art and transforming them, by adding to them, changing them, or (as in the case of his most famous work Fountain) simply renaming them and placing them in a gallery setting. Take the Mona Lisa, whom he is famously known for adding a mustache to.

So how does this relate to the bookstore? Because Christopher has adopted the philosophy of change. Taking an old, decrepit building which had become an eyesore and turning it into something fresh and innovative. The outside of his bookstore is kind of like the Little Free Libraries but taken up 100 notches. The inside has such a lovely vintage feel with the smell of old books which has become such a rarity in the tech world we now live in.

UPDATE: It had been a couple years since I had visited Lhooq/Exrealism. Last time I was here, the owner was battling the City of Carlsbad to keep his spot in business. I am thrilled to learn that not only did he win the battle, but the shop has also had a lovely makeover! They now offer a variety of delicious coffee drinks while you scour your reading options. Give this spot a visit if you haven't already. It's definitely one of the most unique bookstores that San Diego has to offer!

lhooq exrealism bookstore

Subscribe to our E-mail Newsletter


2 Reviews

Rating 0
Overall Rating 0
Difficulty Finding 0

2 Reviews


  • Sean Christopher
    Rating Overall Rating Difficulty Finding

    …and fir some reason with my thumb oh my phones auto correct decided that “fir” worked way better that “for” in my comments ?

    September 18, 2015

  • Sean Christopher
    Rating Overall Rating Difficulty Finding

    thank you fir the great write up. Note to community. Any and all donations will go directly and only to the nonprofit and. And you can use your donation receipt for discounts in the stire and/or for entry in a gift raffle and more. Thanks for your support

    September 18, 2015

Write a Review

Contact info

755 Carlsbad Village Dr, Carlsbad, CA 92008, USA


Have an account?