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    "Acres of Books," Iconic Downtown LB Bookstore at 240 LB Blvd., Will Close Amid Deal To Sell Site To Redevelopment Agency

    (April 5, 2008) -- has learned that Acres of Books, LB's iconic downtown bookstore at 240 LB Blvd., will be closing, possibly as soon as October 2008 or perhaps in up to a year, with the property owners accepting an offer from LB's Redevelopment Agency to buy the site.

    Acres of Books
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    The 12,000 sq. ft property will be sold to the LB's Redevelopment Agency...and will reportedly become part of a mixed use development that may include a public arts center.

    Acres of Books staffers have been told that the owners may relocate elsewhere, but whether the store reappears elsewhere, the store will disappear from its present site.

    Acres of Books is sufficiently prominent that it has its own Wikipedia online encyclopedia listing. The store opened in 1934 at 140 Pacific Ave. and moved to its present 240 LB Blvd. site in 1960.

    The store's website says:

    The [building] facade is design in the Streamline Modern style. The building extends for one hundred and fifty feet back from Long Beach Blvd...In 1990 Acres of Books was designated a cultural heritage landmark by the City of Long Beach. We are now in our third generation of family ownership and have grown to over 1 million books in stock, making us the largest used bookshop in California and a desination for book lovers from around the World...

    Ray Bradbury, who's lived most of his life in Los Angeles, once told the Press-Telegram, "If you go in there for 10 minutes, you'll come out eight hours later....It's my favorite bookstore because it's so huge, so incredibly full of all the kinds of books you could possibly want."

    The store's website says it was founded in 1934 by Bertrand Smith (1874-1965) who was an established book dealer in Cincinnati when he came to LB. In 1959, Mr. Smith "gave to the people of Long Beach a collection of rare books, some dating back to the 15th century. Included in the collection is a two volume facsimile of the Gutenberg Bible all of which is housed as part of the Loraine and Earl Burns Miller Special Collections Room at the main branch of the Long Beach Public Library."

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