Closing Down the Heritage Book Shop


By Carmen Comment

The NYT’s Edward Wyatt reports on the end of weeks-long mourning for the demise of the Heritage Book Shop in West Hollywood, which will shutter its doors after 44 years. Brothers Louis and Benjamin Weinstein‘s decision might seem sudden, but neither of them is particularly broken up about it. “My biggest concern about selling is that I’m not concerned about it,” Lou Weinstein said to Wyatt. At 63, Lou is the younger of the pair by nearly six years and says he essentially forced his older brother into the decision to close down at the end of this week. “I’ve been mentally doing it for a long time,” he said, adding that Ben didn’t want to run the shop by himself. Neither blame the Internet for forcing them out of business.

Heritage’s rare-book collection has been sold, though the brothers won’t say to whom. William Dailey, a private dealer in rare books here, said the talk in the trade was that a London auction house with plans to open a New York office had agreed to buy the business. An extensive reference library on rare books with more than 12,000 volumes, including bibliographies, auction records and books on books will remain intact at UCLA‘s William Andrews Clark Memorial Library. “They definitely were big players in the game,” Dailey said. “They did deal with a lot of wealthy collectors, and they had one of the largest inventories in the business. Neither one of them is intellectual or a reader. But they are both phenomenal businessmen.”