Another independent book store is dying of competition from the internet and chain stores and from the rising cost of big city real estate. This time, the victim is one of the world’s great book stores. At the end of April, Dutton’s, in the Brentwood section of Los Angeles, will be no more. That will be a sad day for dedicated readers and for thousands of authors, including this one, who launched their books with signings at Dutton’s. The friendly store on San Vicente Boulevard is where Jazz Matters first saw the light of day. From today’s story in The Los Angeles Times:
In an interview, author John Rechy, who recently appeared at Dutton’s for his memoir, “About My Life and the Kept Woman,” spoke of the store’s importance.
“Every non-million-selling writer has had his coming-out there,” he said. “They had every single book that you would want.”
Author Carolyn See described the store’s decline and looming closing as “just sickening.”
She said she prized the spot as a neighborhood meeting place, not just for literati but also for local dog walkers. “If you weren’t the drinking kind,” See said, “you could go there the way you’d go to a bar.”
To read the whole story, go here. Condolences to Doug Dutton, whose love of books, readers and writers is a calling, not just a business. For more than two decades, his store has been a refuge from a publishing industry and big box stores that market books the way McDonald’s markets hamburgers.
Dick McGarvin says
After reading your blog about Dutton’s, I thought you might be interested in the article by T.C. Boyle which appeared in the Op-Ed section of today’s LA Times. Here is a link from the Times website.
Dutton’s demise is sad indeed. The store on Laurel Canyon in North Hollywood disappeared a couple years ago.
Thanks for the detailed reports from the Lionel Hampton Jazz Festival in Moscow. Wish I could have been there. Incidentally, “I Be Serious ‘Bout Dem Blues” with Snooky soloing is the opening number for every Clayton-Hamilton Jazz Orchestra performance and has been for years.
Also, a belated ‘thank you’ for the blogs a few weeks back on the subject of jazz and poetry, especially the remembrance of Pete Winslow and your account of that spontaneous jazz poetry night at the Enchanted Gardens. While reading, and seeing that Pete was in San Francisco about the same time I was, I found myself wondering whatever happened to him…only to learn a few sentences later. What a shame. I went to the Poetry Bay site and read more.