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Long Beach's Independent Bookstores

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With electronic books becoming increasingly popular, brick and motor bookstores seem to be a dying breed. Yet while virtual book buying does offer instant gratification, it lacks the tactile satisfaction of thumbing through spines. For many booklovers, the experience of lazily browsing tall bookshelves while inhaling the woodsy scent of paper is of irreplaceable worth.

Of course it’s impossible to ignore the fact that the Internet does offer the convenience of locating any title within seconds, but it just isn’t the same as wandering from section to section while perusing unfamiliar novels that you otherwise would have never discovered.

One might think that independent bookstores are struggling to compete with the digital revolution, but there will always be hardcore book enthusiasts that prefer to patronize the brick and mortars. For those who are partial to community bookshops with an eclectic inventory and knowledgeable staff, this list is for you.

Apostrophe Books

4712 E. Second St.

Long Beach, CA 90803

Located in Belmont Shore, Apostrophe Books is a charming little bookshop with a friendly staff and a relaxed atmosphere. The shelves are well organized with an extensive inventory of books, and there is also a selection of cards, journals, and unique stationary. Priding themselves on community involvement, Apostrophe Books has a book club and also offers book signings.

Gatsby Books

5535 E. Spring Street

Long Beach, CA 90808

Described on its webpage as “The literary heart of Long Beach,” Gatsby Books is an intimate bookstore, offering titles that range from the famous classics to celebrity biographies. On the third Wednesday of every month they offer poetry readings and open mic night, and they also have a book club and potluck that is held every first Saturday. If you do decide to stop by, keep your eyes peeled for the resident cat named Ruby.

Pulp Fiction

1742 Clark Ave.

Long Beach, CA 90815

For those with literary tastes that lean towards comic books and graphic novels, Pulp Fiction offers an impressive selection. Incredible discounts are offered every day of the week, and there is also a trade-in post that allows you to get new books for free. Also available are art classes and store events, so be sure to check their calendar regularly for activities and special appearances. This hidden gem is not only recommended to comic fanatics, but those who are searching for toys and memorabilia that make great gifts for the holidays. Cash rules at Pulp Fiction, so bring plenty of bills to receive a deeper discount.

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