The Irony of Eso Wan

I found it very ironic that the same day I picked up my latest reading assignment for this new book club I am joining was the same day the LA Times carried a story by John Mitchell detailing the closing of Eso Wan.

Before reading the first few chapters of Stanley Bennett Clay's Looker, I had never heard of Eso Wan. And Leimert Park was just a place Maya on Girlfriends casually mentioned from time to time. Mitchell's article details that after 20 years of bookselling and selling 1800 copies of Bill Clinton's My Life in one day, the iconic bookstore is loosing the battle to the Barnes & Nobles and Borders of the world.

That is where the irony comes in... I had just finished chapter 14 of Looker and the characters were gathering for a reading at Eso Wan, when I came across the article online. Sitting right next to my Gateway laptop was a Barnes & Noble receipt for $13.65. I then immediately thought of all of the independent and small book stores like Karibu that I could have supported. I mean I do go there when I need that one black book that I just can't find anywhere else but maybe I should consider them first and Borders second.

But despite successful appearances by Obama, Angela Bassett (seen below... dont you just love her), Clinton, Superhead, and others, co-owners Thomas Hamilton and John Fugate said that sales had become progressively worse and the bookstore has barely managed to stay afloat.

So is it that we aren't supporting the indies... or is it that we aren't reading? Anyway for the article click here....


That Dude Right There said...

I remember when I got to that part of the book and connected the bookstore with Mya Campbell also.

I have for years bought my books at small stores, especially Outwrite Bookstore in Atlanta. They always seem to have the books that I can't find a larger places.

Chet said...

Barnes & Noble, Broders and a couple other larger chains have done a great deal of damage towards the sell of books through smaller retailers(booksellers); I agree one should consider as to where and with whom we are spending our monies... ESO WON and many others have lost sales because of the larger booksellers much to do with location and discounts. Yes we are still reading just buying books elsewhere and I agree we need to support the smaller establishments, they tend to carry various books that the big stores will not touch.

Anonymous said...

Eso Won with their specialized offerings could capture a GLOBAL market with a faster, more user friendly website, and they can do this without a costly brick and mortor facility. I treasure feel of the store, the atmosphere, the music, the book signings and readings and would hate to see it end, but to preserve this important resource, go digital! Use all the Internet marketing tools available, including Google ads, blog references, search engine tricks. Whatever Eso Won decides to do, I'm there to support them, but hope they get with the program, change with the times and continue to serve the community but widen that community to include the globe.