Dutton’s, LA Literary Fixture, to Close in April

By Neal Comment


Last year, this blog posted frequent updates on the status of Los Angeles indie Dutton’s Brentwood Bookstore, beginning with property owner Charles T. Munger‘s plans to redevelop the location to the efforts to save the building by getting recognition as a cultural landmark to Munger’s willingness to give the store a reprieve. Unfortunately, in a statement released this morning, store owner Doug Dutton revealed that the past year’s travails had “crippled the store’s ability to provide the kind of immediate service and depth of inventory that our customers have come to rightly expect” and, “given our situation as it now stands, the pride we feel in our past achievements, and the vagaries of the current book market, shuttering our doors seems the only realistic solution.” The store will close on April 30 (which could mean one last hurrah during the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books weekend), and though many hope it might reopen in Munger’s new development, or somewhere else in the neighborhood, “any plans to reopen or relocate will have to await a real offer in a real situation,” says Dutton, “combined with a sober assessment of the realities of the book world.” (Other Los Angeles booksellers know exactly what he means.)

I’m particularly saddened by this news because, as some of you know, clerking at Dutton’s was the first job I ever had in the book business, and it was through working there at the same time that I discovered the World Wide Web that I was inspired to launch Beatrice.com and begin writing about books and writers. So, in a way, without Doug and everybody else at the store, there would be no GalleyCat. I haven’t lived in LA for over a decade, but returning to Dutton’s was one of the major highlights of each visit, and I’m going to miss those long browsing sessions…

(photos from Yelp [storefront] and Iconoclast Books [Doug])