Monday, April 07, 2008

Acres of Books to Close?

The renowned Acres of Books, a downtown Long Beach, California landmark since 1934, may be in its final weeks or months of business.

The property has been sold to the Long Beach Redevelopment Agency, and the owners are uncertain whether or not they will relocate.

For the better part of a decade I worked within walking distance of Acres of Books, and I spent many happy lunch hours exploring the huge used bookstore's nooks and crannies, praying there wouldn't be an earthquake while I was inside!

The warehouse-like area in the back was a particularly good place to hunt down classic fiction -- I still fondly remember my happiness at locating an autographed copy of Loula Grace Erdman's THE EDGE OF TIME, a "westward movement" romance first published in 1950; I had first read a copy from my high school library and wanted to own a copy and reread it. (I'm amazed to see that the book was reprinted in paperback in 1989.) In the pre-Internet days, combing used bookstores was about the only option for locating out-of-print books, other than mail-order catalogues.

The store definitely closing would be a real loss, although in this day of Internet sales, ABE Books and Amazon used book vendors, not as tragic as it would have been even 15 years ago.

The fun of treasure hunting in actual used bookstores is something special, but as more and more used bookstores close, it seems it's increasingly a thing of the past.

April 22 Update: The sale has been finalized.


Blogger Irene said...

Acres of Books is absolutely amazing. Some years ago my daughter wanted the sequel to "Gone Away Lake" by Elizabeth Enright (her favorite book of all time), "Return to Gone Away". What better place to try and find a copy than Acres of Books - and we did!

We were just there about a month ago as Jennifer wanted to find an old book to use at Civil Reenacting Events. Amazingly she found a book dating back to the 1850's which was published in England containing "jokes" of the era. The price was not marked on the book and they let her have it at the ridiculously low price of $3.

I remember for years there was always a rumor the store was closing. Guess this time it has become more of reality. A very sad time indeed if it does not relocate.

4:43 PM  
Blogger Missy said...

Isn't this the bookstore used in The Jane Austen Book Club movie?


10:07 PM  
Blogger Laura said...

I didn't know about that! I Googled it and sure enough, you're right. According to IMDb they also filmed at Long Beach Airport and Lakewood High. I'm going to bump this up in my Netflix queue. :)


10:11 PM  

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