As first reported in The Wave, another jewel of Leimert Park Village is in trouble. One year after relocating to The Soul of Los Angeles, Eso Won Books is on the verge of going out of business.

The owners say that declining sales have forced them to consider closing the business after 20 years successful years.

“We serve a need, but whether we’ll be around is up to the buying public," owner James Fugate told the Wave. "It’s not like we’re going to close tomorrow, but I think we’ll survive through Christmas. But after Christmas, I don’t know."

The store has brought President Clinton, former O.J. Simpson prosecutor Christopher Darden, presidential hopeful Barak Obama and last week the daughter of Alex Hailey to our community.

The blog And We Shall March has chronicled several book signings at the store.

Upcoming opportunities to meet important writers and support your local bookstore:

Walter Mosely
7 p.m. Monday, Oct. 15
Creator of Easy Rawlins and his sidekick Mouse, Mosely signs and discusses BLONDE FAITH his latest in the "Easy" series. Denzel Washington starred in "Devil in Blue Dress," a Mosely adaptation.

Earl Ofari Hutchinson
7 p.m. Friday Oct. 19, the political analyst who heads the Urban Policy Roundtable discusses and signs "The Latino Challenge to Black America."

“One of the reasons they went to Leimert Park [was] because they thought, given the vibrancy … and the reputation for art and culture, that it would increase foot traffic [into the store],” conservative pundit Earl Ofari Hutchinson told the Wave. “It’s been a complaint over and over again: ‘Where’s the support?’ I’m not surprised at what Eso Won is experiencing. I lay it on a community that really won’t support its own — an institution that is vital to the community. That’s the problem.”

The LA Times noted that the community has sound the alarm. The pastor at the 19,000-member First African Methodist Episcopal Church urged parishioners at all three services to buy books at the store.

"It is essential that we support businesses that educate, enlighten and help perpetuate our culture," said Pastor John J. Hunter.

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