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Arts and Entertainment

Blame The Internet: L.A.'s Oldest Bookstore Closing After 104 Years

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It's a sad time in San Pedro, as the doors prepare to close for good this week at the landmark Williams' Book Store after 104 years in business.

"The store -- considered the oldest-operating bookstore in the city of Los Angeles -- managed to survive two world wars, recessions and trendy chain bookstores with coffee bars," noted the Daily Breeze when word first got out the shop was headed for shuttering.

No matter the nostalgia, or the shop's staying power, "changing technology and the Internet looks like it will land the fatal blow," continues the Breeze.

The book selling world certainly isn't how it was over a century ago. "E.T. Williams, who ran a used bookstore in his native Wales, founded the business in 1909 on Beacon Street near the Long Beach Harbor," explains the L.A. Times in a 2009 story on the store as it reached the 100 year mark.

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Current owner Jerry Gusha, who started work at the shop in 1965 when he was just 13 (his parents were the previous owners), gets emotional thinking about ringing up the final sale at the venerable old shop this week. Of particular interest to many patrons were the local history books the store has for sale, Gusha told NBC Los Angeles.

Williams' Book Store has been having an everything-must-go kind of sale since late June, and had been prepping for an early-August close. Gusha says the rent is paid until the end of August. "After that, I don't know," he told NBC.

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