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Sci-Fi bookstore may have to close after 27 years in Clairemont

Mysterious Galaxy owners hope buyer can save store
Mysterious Galaxy Bookstore.png
Posted at 8:30 AM, Nov 18, 2019
and last updated 2019-11-18 13:20:43-05

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - After 27 years, Mysterious Galaxy, a popular sci-fi bookstore in the Clairemont area, may have to close its doors.

In a post on the store's website, the owners say they are looking for a buyer to take over the store on Balboa Avenue and move it, as their lease expires in 60 days.

"It is with heavy hearts that we share that unless a new buyer and new location are found immediately, Mysterious Galaxy will be forced to close its doors," reads the post.

Manager Kelly Orazi says it's "devastating" to see the store shut down.

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"We're a hub for people who love books," she says. "(People) Who love reading, who love writing. It's really something special."

If it closes, Mysterious Galaxy will join a handful of other small, locally-owned bookstores to close recently in San Diego.

In 2018, Villainous Lair shut its doors, as did the Adams Avenue Bookstore. And Lhooq Books in Carlsbad may do the same, as that location is facing eviction.

But, on the whole, the independent bookstore industry is thriving across America.

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According to the American Booksellers Association, the number of independent bookstores has gone up every year for the last decade, even as overall retail sales are down. Experts say it's because shoppers are looking for a more personal, intimate experience than what they can get online or at a major retail chain.

That's what Diesel Bookstore is hoping to capitalize on. That store just opened at the end of October in the Del Mar Highlands mall.

"We offer bestsellers, but we also offer a curated selection of books in every subject manner," says Manager Iris Halperin. "People want an experience that's different, that's fun, that's unique. That's what Diesel brings."

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Halperin says the goal for the store can be summed up in a quote that the store's owner often references: "A book store is part school, part party, part counseling center and part creative workshop. It's street theater at its best. It is fun, moving, challenging, complex, and deeply rewarding work."

Orazi agrees and is hoping there's still time for a plot twist that will keep Mysterious Galaxy open.

"We're looking for an owner that can come in, buy the bookstore, support the bookstore, find a new location for us or help us find a new location, and, hopefully, we'll be able to continue providing books and bringing magic to people for years to come.