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Books Are Dangerous

Bookmarks from The Last Bookstore

Bookmarks from The Last Bookstore

The wording is ominous:

Books are dangerous!
Report to The Last Bookstore
To sell or trade your books
While you still can!

Founded in 2005, The Last Bookstore claims to be California’s largest bookstore, and it may very well be. “What are you waiting for?” its website asks. “We won’t be here forever.”

This is what I call a Filboid Studge marketing campaign, based on the Saki short story entitled “Filboid Studge: The Story of a Mouse That Helped.” I’ve included a link because the story is very short and outrageously hilarious.

The bookstore at the corner of West 5th and Spring Streets in Downtown Los Angeles was one of the highlights of yesterday’s safari by Martine and me. I took eleven books to donate to the store and wound up buying four titles, including Eve Babitz’s Eve’s Hollywood, which I am currently reading with great excitement.

Interior of The Last Bookstore (2nd Floor)

Interior of The Last Bookstore (2nd Floor)

I have been in Los Angeles for half a century now, and I look back at my time here with all the pleasurable hours I spent in bookstores that, for the most part, are no more. There was Papa Bach’s at Santa Monica and Sawtelle; the Westwood Book Company, Butler Gabriel, Campbell’s, Brentano’s, and Borders—all in Westwood; Martindale’s in Santa Monica; Zeitlin & Verbrugge on the West Side; Acres of Books in Long Beach; Brand Books in Glendale; and Pickwick in Hollywood.

They are all gone now. People stare intently at their smart phones and pretend to communicate—but really don’t. They say they could read books on their devices, but never seem to. Perhaps the whole idea of the book is dying while a new generation willfully enslaves itself to a handheld electronic device.

So kudos to The Last Bookstore. Be defiant! Be a dinosaur! Wave your standard proudly!



4 thoughts on “Books Are Dangerous

  1. I have so many happy memories of Papa Bach’s, and also the Phoenix bookstore in Santa Monica, not to mention the old Santa Monica Library, where I worked checking in and shelving books my first two years in L.A.

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