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Fun a Day Reseda – Day 12: Reseda Needs Bookstores!

Fun a Day Reseda - Day 12I mentioned on day 2 that “there doesn’t seem to be many bookstores left in the San Fernando Valley.” It took a phone call with a bookseller in Minneapolis to show me how serious the Valley’s bookstore problem is.

I had a wonderful conversation with Gary Mazzone of Magers & Quinn Booksellers, the largest independent bookstore in Minneapolis. (They also carry a selection of rare and collectable books, some dating to the 17th century.) We talked about the book business and author promotions, and he introduced me to IndieBound, a website for independent bookstores. I wanted to find independent bookstores in the San Fernando Valley where I can promote my book when it is published.

Here comes the bad news.

No independent bookstores in the Valley (click to open)

No independent bookstores in the San Fernando Valley. None. If you want to go to an independent bookstore, prepare to drive.

But what about chain bookstores like Barnes and Noble?

Calabasas or Studio City, but that's about it (click to open).

The closest is in Calabasas, or there is Bookstar in the converted Studio City Theater. (Reusing abandoned movie theaters as bookstores. Hmm.)

Reseda has a public library that recently extended its hours to Sunday. It’s also not too far to Cal State Northridge with its Matador Bookstore and famous Oviatt Library. But if Reseda wants to promote itself as a cultural and artistic center, it needs bookstores.

The nature of bookstores is changing. Although I now question my estimate about the adoption of eBooks, I still believe bookstores can still serve as a community hub. Not only can it be a place where people can indulge their love of books, but it can encourage creative expression. A place where writing can be created and enjoyed. Reseda can be the home of such a bookstore.

So, I throw my idea out there to any entrepreneur or deep-pocketed bibliophile who wants to invest in Reseda. And when you do get such a business going, please let me know. I’ll have a book for you to sell.