Williams' Book Store

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Williams' Book Store was a historic book shop founded in 1909 in San Pedro, California.[1] It was open for 104 years[2] before folding due to the competition of the online book market.[3]


Williams' was founded by Edward Thorpe "E.T." Williams,[4] an immigrant from Wales who had previously owned a book store in Wales and, subsequently, London.[1][5] When Williams died in 1940, his eldest daughter, Ethel Williams-Smith, took over the business.[1] She sold the business forty years later to long-time employee Anne Gusha and her son, Jerry;[4] Gusha had first set foot in the store at age 8, in the 1930s, and later became an employee, working part-time initially while in college.[6][5] Patrons included Charles Bukowski—a regular, according to Gusha—and actor Charles Laughton.[5]

100th anniversary celebration[edit]

The store celebrated its 100th anniversary in 2009 with the appearance of various authors including Ray Bradbury, Angi Ma Wong, and Lisa See.[6]


  1. ^ a b c "All Things Bookstore: Williams' Bookstore, San Pedro, California, to close August 6". Daily Kos. Retrieved Oct 10, 2019.
  2. ^ Obioma-Sakhu, Khixaan. "Williams' Book Store to close its doors". Retrieved Oct 10, 2019.
  3. ^ Chang, Hetty. "Oldest Book Store in LA Closes". NBC Southern California. Retrieved Oct 10, 2019.
  4. ^ a b "Window #2: Once Upon a Book... | San Pedro Bay Historical Society". sanpedrobayhistoricalsociety.com. Retrieved Oct 10, 2019.
  5. ^ a b c "Williams' Book Store to Celebrate a Century of Bookselling". the American Booksellers Association. Dec 22, 2008. Retrieved Oct 10, 2019.
  6. ^ a b "Famed authors to help Williams' Bookstore celebrate 100 years in SP". Jan 19, 2009. Retrieved Oct 10, 2019.