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2 More Indie Bookstores Close the Book on Their Business

Photo by uitdragerij via Flickr
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While we have reason to celebrate our A-list local bookstores, this week brings sad news for two SoCal independent book retailers who have announced they're closing up shop. First to close their doors will be Village Books in Pacific Palisades, who end a 14-year run June 30th. Owner Katie O'Laughlin published a piece in yesterday's Palisadian-Post with the news that after a decade of financial struggle, "recent changes in the book business have made it impossible to continue operating the store in its present form."

No longer seeing customers coming in the door as often as they used to, or, more importantly, seeing them at the cash register, O'Laughlin says "we have come to the end."

Closing up at the end of August is 15-year-old Latitude 33 in Laguna Beach, where the story is much the same as at Village Books. Lack of sales, less foot traffic in the door, changes in the book selling business, and the struggling economy are what led Latitude 33 owner Tom Ahern to close the chapter. Though he tried to sell the store, Ahern says none of the 19 potential buyers who expressed interest came through with an offer to buy.

For both Latitude 33 and Village Books, their heartbroken owners say the best way to help as things come to an end is to come in and buy some books to help them reduce their stock. Doing so, says Ahern, means "we both win." Sadly, two more SoCal indie booksellers closing doesn't really feel like a win for consumers and bibliophiles.

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