Its not easy out there for independent bookstores these days, with book sales relatively flat and corporate book empires gobbling up shops on every corner. Duttons is gone, Midnight Special is long gone, Acres of Books is soon to close. So its no surprise that your local non-chain bookstore is not only struggling to find that special niche and provide that personal touch, but is just plain struggling.
Thankfully, one independent bookstore seems to be doing more than surviving. Los Felizs Skylight Books closed its doors early last week only to open up again the next day with a bigger, better space. (Chau Tu / Los Angeles Times)
After closing early on July 30, Skylight staff and volunteers set to work on moving the inventory down the street to the new space, named Skylight Books 1814 after its street address right next door to the main Skylight Books space on Vermont Avenue, which remains open. (Chau Tu / Los Angeles Times)
General manager Kerry Slattery sent out an e-mail to its loyal customers announcing the stores expansion and began setting up time slots for volunteers to help. About 30 volunteers, including local librarians, sales representatives and customers, showed up on July 30 for the overnight move, and they brought food and their own skills to the venture. Vromans Bookstore in Pasadena even provided carts. (Chau Tu / Los Angeles Times)
Skylight Books 1814 opened on July 31 and is a more artsy take on its previous incarnation, with books on art, architecture, photography, music, theater and film. The store also houses the graphic novel section and Skylights broad range of magazines. According to employee Monica Carter, none of the book inventory currently in Skylight Books 1814 was purchased specifically for the move -- everything was simply moved over from the original store. (Chau Tu / Los Angeles Times)
The art motif was chosen to fit a more modern look, said Carter. The owners thought about what kind of customers came into the store, and what sort of books could necessitate one space. In Skylight Books 1814, the art sections now enjoy the visual space that it needed. (Chau Tu / Los Angeles Times)
While none of the book inventory is new, Skylight Books 1814 carries DVDs for the first time. Its a fresh step for the bookstore, which previously only sold the Wholphin DVDs which accompanied the special section dedicated to the McSweeneys family of literary publications. Currently, Skylight Books 1814 only has selections from the highly popular Criterion Collection DVD series, but said it does hope to expand upon it in the future. (Chau Tu / Los Angeles Times)
Just like its counterpart, Skylight Books 1814 too has a skylight. The store is set to have its official grand opening on August 30, when itll give out prizes for the many store name ideas it received as contest entries. The store plans to keep its name, however. Angelenos can rest easy knowing the dust has settled. (Chau Tu / Los Angeles Times)