Nick Shou reports the sad news in the OC Weekly:
UPDATE, JUNE 8, 11:30 AM: I've been out of town the past few days, so I just heard the bad news: Laguna Beach's beloved Latitude 33 Bookshop is closing. There's a letter on the bookstore's website from owner Tom Ahern that pretty much makes clear there's no hope the store will be sold in time to prevent its closure. "I tried hard to find a buyer for the store, to keep a good bookstore in Laguna," Ahern wrote. "Nineteen parties expressed interest, but none came through with an offer. It is extremely painful for me, but I have concluded that the only choice is to close Latitude 33 Bookshop before the end of August."
Ahern's letter notes that there's a 20 percent-off sale going on, and even the store's custom wood bookshelves are up for grabs. "We hope that you will come back in and take advantage of the sale," he continued. "We'd love to sell our entire stock sooner than the end of August. We will both win. Thanks for supporting Latitude 33 over the past 15 years."
Mondays through Saturdays: 9 AM to 6 PM
Sundays: 10 AM to 5 PM
(Closed July 4th)
311 Ocean Avenue, Laguna Beach, CA 92651
Author and OC local Scott Martelle also blogged about the closure and what it means.
When you go to Amazon to find a book, almost invariably you get just what you're looking for because you went to the web site with a title, or author, in mind. You find that item, click a few times and are done.
When you go to a bookstore, you find the book as well, but you also have serendipitous encounters with other books and writers, encounters that you miss by buying from your living room. Yes, it's faster, and you save money (lord knows I've done my share of the damage by doing just that). But you also miss that chance encounter with the new. It's like reading a newspaper online versus in print, where every page turn brings you something unexpected, instead of a curated set of headlines and links on a home page.
As a result, our lives, and our engagement with the world around us, slowly become more insular. We get challenged less, so believe in what we believe with more fervor. Something akin to intellectual torpor sets in as we keep returning to the same shelves in the marketplace of ideas. And we, as a society, are worse off for it, another stroke of damage from his secular religion of ours, the quest for a bargain.
To read the rest, click here.