Ray Bradbury dies: Glendale bookstore owners remember their author friend

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There’s a pall over an independent bookstore in Glendale as the couple who owns it mourns the loss of close friend and famed author Ray Bradbury.

He died in Los Angeles on Tuesday night. He was 91.

Christine Bell, co-owner of the Mystery and Imagination Bookshop, said some readers used to stop in their tracks when they saw Bradbury’s books in the store window.

“One day I heard a screeching of tires and went to look to see if everyone was okay," Bell recalled. "It was simply a man who had put on his brakes because he saw 'Bradbury Speaks' and ran in the door to see if Ray Bradbury was here — that is how he affects people.”

Bell said Bradbury visited the shop often for book signings and birthday parties — his own, in the company of many fans.

The author of more than 300 science fiction and fantasy books called West L.A. home and lived in Los Angeles most of his life.

John King is an accountant from Glendale who says he started out as merely a fan of Bradbury’s. But after a chance meeting at the Mystery and Imagination Bookshop, they became good friends.

“His philosophy was [that] when he was a young boy, pestering famous people for their autographs, they would be so generous to him," said King. "He would never refuse anybody an autograph. An old joke is that an unsigned Bradbury book is rarer than a signed Bradbury book."

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