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Longtime customers save Clairemont sci-fi bookstore

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Posted at 1:47 PM, Dec 17, 2019
and last updated 2019-12-17 16:47:56-05

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — Mysterious Galaxy served the Clairemont community for 27 years before the threat of closing reared its head.

In November, the sci-fi bookstore announced they would have to close their doors after nearly three decades with their lease set to expire in January 2020.

But as the final chapter of this local gem neared, two heroes emerged to continue the Mysterious Galaxy's story.

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Longtime customers Matt Berger and Jenni Marchisotto announced on the store's website that they have purchased the store and will move it to a shopping center in San Diego's Midway District.

"One thing we would like you to know above all else is that we, like you, are fans of Mysterious Galaxy," Berger and Marchisotto wrote. "We love Mysterious Galaxy for the same reasons you do and know that it will survive, will be saved, only because of your continued support."

The new location will reside at 3555 Rosecrans Street. The existing staff will also stay on board for the store's next chapter, the owners say.

"We know the expert team of booksellers is much of what makes Mysterious Galaxy special. The store wouldn’t be the same without them," the pair wrote.

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Former owners Terry Gilman, Maryelizabeth Yturralde, and Jeff Mariotte opened Mysterious Galaxy in 1993. The store has served as a popular stop for everything science fiction, mystery, and fantasy for local readers.

While local stores like the now-closed Villainous Lair and Adams Avenue Bookstore faced an uphill battle, Berger and Marchisotto hope to write a different future.

"As we begin this next chapter, we want to keep all that makes Mysterious Galaxy special while continuing to expend its presence in the community," the new owners added.

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The number of independent bookstores has increased in the U.S. every year for the last decade, though retail sales have remained down, according to the American Booksellers Association. The appeal for these stores, though, is something readers can't get with a mouse click online.

"Moving forward, we plan to uphold all that makes Mysterious Galaxy special. We respect and value the store’s reputation as an integral part of the literary community in San Diego ... We have always seen Mysterious Galaxy as a safe place for anyone interested in exploring new worlds and never want that to change," the owners say.