Ray Bradbury mourns Acres of Books

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Ray Bradbury spoke last night at the iconic Long Beach bookstore and railed about its threatened closure and the dearth of bookstores in certain areas around Los Angeles. LBReport.com was there and quotes Bradbury, who said of Acres of Books, "I love this place. I love the smell of it. When it used to rain...I'd come to Long Beach, I'd come here to the Acres of Books and I'd go in the back."

Right now there are no bookstores in downtown L.A. That's terrible. That's stupid, isn't it?...There's no really big bookstore, Pickwick used to be there, it was a very important bookstore....Bookstores should be the center of our life. There's no bookstore in Venice, California right now. There's no bookstore in Ocean Park. There's no bookstore in Beverly Hills. Jesus Christ, how dumb can you get! There's not one bookstore in Beverly Hills! All those stupid people, wandering around, looking for ideas. That is such a dumb place. That's why I'm here...This is my home.

[skip]

If this place could be kept here, if you're going to build a mall, they should build it around here. They should be the center of the mall. They should be a shrine. They should have a crucifix up in front. I will come and bless the goddamn place. And I mean that. I want this store to remain here and they can build a mall around it...It should be surrounded by other fascinating stores. It shouldn't be moved. It shouldn't be changed because it's the best bookstore in Long Beach and one of the best in California.

There are ten million books here and other bookstores have a couple of thousand, and they don't smell the same way. An old book smells like Egyptian incense. It's great. It's wonderful.

LBReport has posted audio and video. District Weekly and the Press-Telegram also covered. Acres of Books' building was acquired by the city for redevelopment and the store must vacate by next May.


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