LOS ANGELES — The final stretch of Skylight Books’ October book drive and fundraiser, supporting three youth and community centers, is in sight this weekend, heading into the bookstore’s 25th anniversary on Nov. 1.

The drive, which runs through October, supports the East Los Angeles Community Youth Center, a STEM-focused nonprofit; the Asian Youth Center, which seeks to empower low-income, immigrant, and at-risk youth of all communities; and the Los Angeles LGBT Center, which offers health, social, housing and educational services to the LGBT community.

What You Need To Know

  • Skylight Books, in Los Feliz, is running a book drive for youth community centers, ending on Nov. 1

  • The drive benefits the East Los Angeles Community Youth Center, the Asian Youth Center, and the Los Angeles LGBT Center

  • The books are a broad collection of inclusive fiction and non-fiction stories for elementary school and young adult-level readers

  • Throughout the pandemic, the bookstore has run a series of book drives to help community organizations and schools throughout Los Angeles

The books, which are collected on fiction and non-fiction wishlists for both elementary school and young-adult readers, are a broad collection of inclusive stories, including books by indigenous authors, authors of color, graphic novels, stories about gender, identity, sexuality and body positivity.

“We worked really hard to come up with lists that reflected diverse experiences, looking for ‘windows, not doors.’ Seeing people who are like you, going through experiences you might be going through as a kid is really encouraging, it’s grounding, and it helps people grow and develop,” said Skylight Books events manager Madeline Gobbo.

Over the last 25 years, Skylight has grown to become Los Feliz’s neighborhood independent bookstore, a central gathering point for literary and community events. Throughout the pandemic, Skylight has taken to running book drives every quarter; most recently, it contributed to building a library at Twin Towers Correctional Facility. This particular drive came about when youth organizer Meagan Domingo approached Skylight for advice in running a drive, and the bookstore offered to join forces.

“This has been a really beautiful change that I think has come about as part of the pandemic mindset — that people really want to help,” Gobbo said. “It became this really great mutual aid network, building networks with other institutions in the city and allowing our customers to feel like they have some hand in doing good for other Angelenos.”

Both fiction and non-fiction book wishlists are available for children and young adult readers at Skylight’s website, but folks wishing to directly help can also contribute cash to a GoFundMe campaign.

For more information, visit skylightbooks.com/youthcenterbookdrive.