I learned today that The Mystery Bookstore in Westwood will close on January 31. This bookstore has been one of my favorite places in Los Angeles. It’s an automatic tumble into a dreamlike state that can last for minutes or hours, depending on how much time is left on the parking meter. It’s entertaining. Hypnotic. Gratifying. Its catalog of international fiction in quality crime fiction exceeds what even the greediest among us could grab. The staff know which authors are good and which are great, and they seem to have read it all.
The email announcement said, “Unfortunately, we, too, are going the way of too many independent bookstores. We simply cannot compete with the Amazons of the world and the impact of the economy.” I just made a visit to the Mystery Bookstore, and expressed my sadness and real horror that the bookstore would close. The owner, Pamela Woods, said, and I paraphrase, “We wanted a bookstore for the community, and we thought the community wanted the store. But people need to buy books.”
We here at Writers Bloc express thanks to the Mystery Bookstore, for the countless hours of enjoyment and delight that they’ve given to us, from the gracious atmosphere to absolutely terrific recommendations. It is up to us support stores like The Mystery Bookstore– while we all appreciate the convenience of online retailers, we can’t possibly discover new authors and new books without the expertise and human touch that stores such as The Mystery Bookstore provide.