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Rebecca's Books Prepares to Close

By Ken Bullock
Monday July 05, 2010 - 05:16:00 PM

Rebecca's Books, the homey little community-oriented poetry bookshop at 3268 Adeline, is featuring a storewide sale over the next few weeks in July, anticipating its closing, said founder Mary Ann Braithwaite. 


"Everything's for sale--books, artwork, fixtures and furniture," Braithwaite said. "I'm here until I'm gone.' 


Remarking that closing would be a bittersweet thing, she also said "Thank you to my customers--to those who supported me. Thanks for all your support!" And Braithwaite said she'd miss her neighbors at The Other Change of Hobbit bookstore. 


Rebecca's Books opened October 27, 2007, celebrated with a performance by the Morning Star Choir, from Holy Name of Jesus Catholic Church in Los Angeles. Braithwaite and her son had once sung with the choir, the members of which drove up for the opening. 


Named after Braithwaite's mother, who recently passed away, Rebecca's Books features a unique selection of poetry books and artwork, handpicked with help from Braithwaite's old friends, Oakland artist Woody Johnson and the late poet Reginald Lockett. Artwork and family pictures decorate its walls. In the back is Polly's Room, after Braithwaite's mother's childhood nickname, a children's room. 


Over the past few years, poets and other writers have read at the store, including former state poet laureate Al Young, former San Francisco city laureates devorah major and Jack Hirschman, Alameda city laureate Mary Rudge--and other creative performers, like Word Wind Chorus, poet-musicians Lewis Jordan, Q. R. Hand and Brian Auerbach. 


"I'm going now, but I will be back," Braithwaite said. "Berkeley hasn't seen the last of Rebecca's Books!"