Mrs. Nelson’s Toy and Book Shop in La Verne to close in early 2014

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Another Los Angeles bookstore is closing its doors. Mrs. Nelson’s Toy and Book Shop, a children’s book store located in La Verne, has announced it will close in early 2014 -- most likely before January is out. A final sale began on Friday.

“It’s economic,” owner Judy Nelson told The Times. “Retail shopping is changing.” Big-box stores, discounters and online sales provided too much competition, she said. None were a factor when Mrs. Nelson’s Toy and Book Shop opened in La Verne in 1985.

La Verne is located in the San Gabriel Valley, about 30 miles east of downtown Los Angeles. Mrs. Nelson’s Toy and Book Shop had been one of the few remaining independent bookstores in the region. While many brick and mortar bookstores have fallen prey to rising rental costs, Mrs. Nelson Nelson’s Toy and Book Shop had a buffer: Nelson owns the building in which the store is located.


In recent years, Nelson has been drawn into politics. She is a Republican Party organizer and in 2011 was elected to the Glendora City Council, where she is mayor pro tem until 2015.

After Mrs. Nelson’s Toy and Book Shop closes its doors, two other book-oriented ventures run by Nelson’s family will continue. A book fair business for schools is managed by her daughter; a school library business is managed by her son.

Over the years, Mrs. Nelson’s Toy and Book Shop played host to a number of popular authors and illustrators, including “Diary of a Wimpy Kid”’s Jeff Kinney, National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature Jon Scieszka, Laurie Halse Anderson (“Speak”), Lemony Snicket (a.k.a. Daniel Handler) and Dav Pikley, creator of “Captain Underpants.”


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