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The Case for Books

December 25, 1987

Thank you for the interesting article on independent bookstores ("The Independent Bookstores: Down but Far from Out" by Beverly Beyette, Dec. 16). It was both welcome and overdue; I love working with books and the people who are interested in them.

Your article doesn't mention ethnic bookstores, which share all of the difficulties you mention and many others peculiar only to them.

The ethnic population doesn't read any more or less than the native Southern Californians your article speaks of, but for those who do, the large chains mentioned do not, or cannot, fill their needs.

Many of our new citizens, though not affluent and struggling to learn a new language themselves, want their children to be familiar with their country's culture and literature and it is beautiful that they buy books to keep their pasts a part of their present.

For these people, we will continue to struggle with the increasing rents and discount stores that you mention, as well as the rising and falling dollar in the countries we buy from, and the cost of travel to book fairs abroad and the red tape involved with importing and all the difficulties we face every day in our attempt to provide some relief for hungry minds.

EPHREM E. COMPTE

Spanish and European Bookstore

Los Angeles

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