Located along Ocean Front Walk in the heart of the Venice boardwalk is a little eclectic bookstore, known for it's extensive poetry section and books on vampires.

Mary Goodfader, owner of Small World Books and the Mystery Annex, has served a vast array of customers over the past 31 years, from devoted locals to visiting tourists.

Kristin Wilder spoke with Goodfader about selling books on one of the busiest boardwalks in America.

"The business started in Marina del Rey in 1969, and we moved to Venice in 1976. My mother started it. We worked together until she retired in '78. Then I took over.

"The good part of being on the boardwalk is that we have the summer season and the Christmas season. It is better than most retail businesses in that sense.

"We have an incredible tourist business on the weekends. I don't know how many thousands of people are out there. Now they are refurbishing Ocean Front Walk, and even with the construction going on, it has been a really active summer down here.

"I think the Democratic Convention has brought a lot of customers. I have had a lot of people in here who are (connected to) the convention. I think there are tourist buses coming down here with delegates.

"It's rather a unique place to be located. It has tarot card readers, fortune tellers, massage tables, lots of artwork, different kinds of entertainers, and an ongoing drum circle going on for hours and hours. They have been here since the '60s.

"During the week I have a very loyal clientele. Venice is home to many artistic people, and they are good readers. I have good support from locals.

"Fiction is the most popular section. We are known for our fiction and our vampire books. We get vampire-looking people coming in. We had Anne Rice sign books here once, and there was a line all the way down the boardwalk, and a lot of them looked like vampires.

"It is hard to compete with the discount bookstores, but hopefully people will maintain their support because we have such a knowledgeable staff. They have read the books, and they know what they are talking about.

"A lot of people dream of working in a bookstore. It is enjoyable and the staff that I get here usually stays. My main staffers have been here seven and a half years and 14 years. My daughter works here, too, so it is a multi-generational store."

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