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.