What’s that, you say? Is Joe starting-off yet another folklore
column with loads of rhetorical questions? Well, dear reader,
yes and no. At press time, ol’ brother Joe finds himself
far too busy to take the time to fill-up your heads with various
ghost stories, myths and miscellaneous mumbo jumbo.
Joe out of commission, I, brother Dan – the most handsome
and cleverest of Sheryl’s sons – will undertake the
awesome responsibility of putting together this month’s
column. Having just visited many pages on Wikipedia, I feel very
for now, let’s forget about Joe and his busy, busy schedule,
and delve into the mostly-unknown (and mostly-made-up) history
of your favorite bookstore in Torrance, California – Book
course, the real story of Book Again starts around 20,000 BC,
when Asian hunting tribes followed the herds of woolly mammoths
across the Bering Strait and into the New World, a flagrant violation
of future international customs protocols. Some 10,000 years later,
the mammoths died out, and reading quickly became a popular pastime.
time progressed, bookshelves all over southern California were
increasingly overcrowded, and just 11,500 years later, the time
was finally ripe for the South Bay’s first used bookstore
to open its doors.
believe Book Again opened for business in the mid-1500’s.
Others believe I just made that up. Nevertheless, brisk trade
with Spanish conquistadors fueled Book Again’s rapid growth.
Most popular book of the day? So You’ve Come Down With Typhus...
by Edward Katzenblech, PhD. Cost? A handful of chick peas and
a pound of barley.
the centuries, Book Again grew steadily, and by 1849 it provided
free coffee, a reading room, gold-exchange services, and a hotel.
Abraham Lincoln was rumored to have slept at the Book Again Hotel
– a fact largely unknown by present-day historians and even
by Abraham Lincoln, himself.
of 1909 is a milestone in Book Again’s history. In that
year, Miss Petula Clark, a regular Book Again customer, inquired
about the latest Star Trek novel. Informed that the series would
not be written for another 60 years, she flew into a wild rage
and put a curse on the Sci-Fi section and on the Book Again employee
who gave her the bad news, causing Book Again to enact a temporarily
policy of not carrying books on witchcraft.
the curse on the employee backfired, causing her to inherit 100
acres of land in Santa Barbara; but those unlucky enough to step
foot in the Sci-Fi section quickly reported strange and peculiar
happenings. Eerie voices could be heard emanating from that section.
To the trained ear of a paranormal investigator, these voices
were clearly uttering dangerous demonic verses and unworldly chants.
To the untrained ear the voices seemed to be saying, “This
isn’t a sci-fi novel,” and “Hey, here’s
that Stephen King book you’ve been looking for.”
Other than that, the curse on the Sci-Fi/Horror/Mystery section
didn’t really seem to achieve anything. “It really
didn’t seem to achieve anything,” confirms Sheryl
Anderson, present-day owner of the store, when asked if the curse
on the Sci-Fi/Horror/Mystery section seemed to achieve anything.
“No, not really,” she added as I jotted down her answer
with remarkable efficiency.
we are running out of space on this edition of the newsletter,
so we will have to gloss over the fact that not only did Book
Again help end World War II, but also helped to fend off a hostile
UFO invasion of the South Bay in 1981. And the future looks just
on, Book Again!