Local Bookstore Abuzz with Activity

by Jillian Gronnerud

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“ …a town without a bookstore is a town without a heart and soul.”

A pot of freshly-brewed coffee, owner Sean Moor and resident feline Ruby sleepily await the first visitors to Gatsby Books each morning. The early hours are peaceful with ambient music occasionally interrupted by the noise of the telephone or doorbell. By evening time, however, the store is often humming with activity.

Located in northeast Long Beach at the corner of Spring Street and Bellflower Boulevard, this one-of-a-kind bookstore has been serving the local community since 2010, with a steadily increasing range of items and activities offered to patrons new and old.

“Gatsby Books is more than a great independent bookstore, it's also a dynamic community space,” owner Sean Moor said. “We host two to five events a week. From book clubs to writing workshops and poetry readings to author visits, Gatsby Books is dedicated to promoting the literary arts in Long Beach.”

The events at Gatsby Books cater to a variety of interests, whether you enjoy writing stories or prefer reading them. If you’re looking for something traditional, Gatsby’s Book Club meets on the first Saturday of each month at 1 p.m. Group members are encouraged to bring a potluck dish inspired by the book-de-jour and get the chance to wash down their snacks with a well-rounded discussion.

Another one is Gatsby’s Writers Group, which is held every Tuesday at 7 p.m. Poems, novels, memoirs – no matter the genre, this weekly meeting allows writers the chance to create, discuss and workshop their latest pieces.

“First time visitors should just drop by and check us out,” Moor said. “If you show up on a Saturday or Sunday afternoon there's bound to be something cool happening.”

Other events include the Literary Women Book Club, which is exactly what it sounds like: Intelligent, empowered female authors, whose books empower other intelligent women and attendees alike. This group meets on the fourth Thursday of each month at 7 p.m. There is no shortage of options for bookworms to get their literary fill as is, but Moor also mentioned new programming in the works – a Storytelling and Poetry Open Mic Series that will debut in April.

Whether you pay one visit or a hundred, a good bookstore has the potential to open your eyes to the world in a new way. Gatsby Books does this and more, and their generous selection of events is sure to offer something that will fit both your taste and your schedule.

“I believe that a town without a bookstore is a town without a heart and soul,” Moor said. “That's why we have worked hard to make Gatsby Books the best-loved, independent bookstore in Long Beach.”