Friday, July 27, 2007

Acres of Books...

When I first moved to Long Beach after graduating from UCLA I had a job writing content for a now dead dotcom in downtown. It was then that I discovered Acres of Books, one of the greatest used bookstores in all of Southern California. No joke.

The place is cavernous, yet the familiar smell of old paperbacks made it feel like wrapping yourself up in a down comforter. I have bought many books from there that have changed my life. I bought a copy of Barbara Savage's seminal bicycle touring travelogue, "Miles from Nowhere" from Acres about a year ago and it has since inspired me to go on my own bicycle tours.

This week, I had the great pleasure of meeting Jackie, the current owner of Acres. She was great fun to photograph with her quick smile and dry wit. The building itself is also so photogenic, not only a treasure trove of books, but also filled with little details. Arrows guide you around the fiction room. On the board where the Westerns are, is a half torn book cover with a man drawing his gun.

And the light! The fiction room has great light streaking through the bookshelves.

Unfortunately, the city, in all its infinite wisdom is slowly forcing businesses like Acres to close. They've already forced Terry's Camera out of business and bulldozed it (an eternally sore spot for me). They tear these great buildings down for the sake of progress, but what progress is it if you just end up with another carbon copy city?

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