Mysterious Galaxy will close its retail store in Redondo Beach, the bookseller quietly announced this week. The last day the store will be open to customers will be June 15; until then, the store's books are on sale.
In 2011, when Mysterious Galaxy opened the Redondo Beach location, skeptics noted that brick-and-mortar bookstores were in trouble. It was September, and Borders Books had liquidated its stock to close its remaining 399 stores nationwide.
Yet Mysterious Galaxy owner Terry Louchheim Gilman was undeterred. On the store's blog she wrote, "we think this is exactly the right time to open an independent bookstore. We think that people treasure their communities and especially bookstores, because they bring them together and introduce them to new reading experiences and the authors that write the books that they love."
The 4,000-square-foot space, located at 2810 Artesia Ave., was gutted and renovated, Gilman told The Times. The building was built by her grandfather and remained in her family.
And it will continue to serve as a base for Mysterious Galaxy. Instead of being a retail destination, the Artesia Avenue space will be a warehouse for books that are sold at book events throughout the community.
The store had done well attracting authors for book signings -- George R.R. Martin recently dropped by, unannounced, to sign his books -- but apparently not well enough to keep the doors open to retail traffic.
Mysterious Galaxy opened at its San Diego location in 1993. That store continues to do well and is planning to soon move to a larger home.