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Another One Bites the Dust (Jacket)
Photo of inside Acres of Books by LWY via Flickr
Ray Bradbury once called Long Beach's Acres of Books "a labyrinth, a tomb, a catacomb, a maze," and "a watering hole" of bookish treasures. The store, founded in 1934 by Bertrand Smith, has spanned over an acre of land at its Long Beach Boulevard storefront since 1960.
But now "owners Phil and Jackie Smith have agreed to sell the 12,000-square-foot lot for about $2.8 million to the Long Beach Redevelopment Agency," reports the Long Beach Press-Telegram. The land is going to be used as a portion of a "proposed mixed-use project bordered by Broadway, Long Beach Boulevard, Third Street and Elm Avenue." The project is art-centric, and will include an arts facility in addition to commercial space and housing. There is also talk of having the facilities be accessible to CSULB students for living quarters and classrooms.
While the plan for the land sounds exciting, the future of its current tenant seems bleak. Plans to relocate are up in the air, and co-owner Jackie Smith says Acres still has shipments coming in and "they should know by October what they plan to do with the business." The Long Beach community and fans of Acres are sad to see the store move out, and wish that they could have been included in the redevelopment.
The impending shuttering of Acres of Books is arriving on the heels of the upcoming closure of Dutton's in Brentwood, which has many LA bibliophiles upset. Independent bookstores have been falling off the map in the past decade or so, thanks to the rise in popularity and ubiquitous nature of the big box chain book superstore, and online booksellers. You've got a few months left to get down to the LBC and show your love for one of the last great local indie bookshops...before another one bites the dust.