Click Here for the Guest List. Authors sign free.
Click Here for the Guest List. Authors sign free.
Note: If the store was listed in the previous article on the first Burbank – North Hollywood fold-out, the listings will be pretty much the same, although I might binge out a bit. There are many changes and new shops listed on this fold-out from 1999.
1 Atlantis Book Shop This was the old Bond Street Book Shop listed in the first flyer. This store began the Conspiracy – UFO video rental saga and along with a great History selection, became known for extensive sections on Politics, Deep State, Conspiracy, CIA Plots, Assassinations, Secret Societies, Ancient Mysteries and such. Redevelopment tore down the entire block, wiping out Atlantis Books just like the original Island of Atlantis of the Mediterranean, now largely known as Saudi Arabia, was destroyed. Many celebrities hung out here, including the great Jordan Maxwell. Filmmakers and television companies filmed here, surrounded by plans for Nazi UFO’s, photos of ETs, and stacks of books on various conspiracies.
2. Automotive Books This is actually Automotive Book Stop. (The Autobooks/Aerobooks shop near Hollywood Way did not want to participate in this flyer at the time, so was left out.) Owned and operated by Fred and Chris Chapparo, they closed the shop and retired in 2016, although they may still be selling some rare items online.
3. Bestseller Book Shop. Store closed several years ago. I started this store with a partner, it was all paperback books, and quite successful. Massive rent spikes put it out.
4. Book Castle/Movie World. This was the Movie Store next to the Gigantic Book Castle. The great Book Castle closed in 1994 when the rent went from $5M per month to an asking price of 30M per month, a number not possible to pay. Shortly after, my partner Steve and I parted ways, and he operated the Movie World shop, which is still at the same location and packed with much more than just movie memorabilia. A post on their facebook site in January said they may be closing this summer (not verified).
5. Book City – Burbank This store is long gone, although years after it closed a dollar book store opened for a short time. This shop was run by Alan Siegel, who owned Hollywood Book City. It was a huge shop, with a lot of good books although too many were behind locked cases, making it difficult to browse. As I remember it opened around 1980, but then was closed for months after the ill-constructed back loft collapsed. Luckily this happened in the middle of the night, because anyone underneath would have been crushed to jello.
6. Bookfellows Bookshop (Also known as Mystery and Imagination Bookshop) This great Science Fiction and Mystery Fiction shop is owned by Malcolm and Christine Bell. It began life in an embryo stage on Hollywood Blvd. in the 1970s when Malcolm Bell and Chuck Annegan opened a bookshop in an upstairs office at the Cowboy Young building. Heritage Book Shop and Atlantis Book Shop both also started there. Christine worked for the nearby Book Treasury on Hollywood Blvd., and later hooked up with Malcolm. Their first shop was on East Broadway Blvd. near S. Verdugo, in Glendale, later moving to Brand Blvd. to be where the action was. The shop closed last year (2016) due to impossibly high overhead. They were noted for their great book signings and top condition of their stock. They are now mail order only, you can find them on ebay and internet book sites.
7. Brand Bookshop One of the great large used book stores in the Los Angeles area, at its peak was about 7,200 sq. ft. of nicely shelved good stock. The store was opened and run by Jerome Joseph, a long-time area bookman, and one of the friendliest guys on earth. Unfortunately, Jerome took ill a few years age, and his friend and partner Noriyake ran the store until Jerome’s passing. The shop closed around 2015, leaving a void of a large general book store in the Glendale area.
8. CM Bookshop in Silverlake This was a small, but nice book shop that opened next to The Silverlake Coffee House. I’m not sure of the owner’s name, I think it was Carl, but he was a nice chap who started as a book scout. With a partner, he opened a shop in Old Town Pasadena called Book Alley, which was later sold and is now on East Colorado with a different owner, Tom Rogers. This shop is long gone, too bad, it was so pleasant to buy a book and then go next door to the coffee house and have some java. On hot summer days the air conditioning in the coffee house beckoned, but when the weather permitted the outside patio was even a better place to read a book and watch the endless parade of pretty girls going into the coffee house for their blended Iced Mocha Whipped Cream Strawberry Thinga Majings
9. Dark Delicacies This shop specializes in Horror and Fantasy Fiction, and is a mecca known around the country. It moved to its present location at 3512 W. Magnolia where it is going strong. Their current location is a couple doors from what used to be Magnolia Park Bookshop. Great displays in the front windows is a tradition, and they keep a full schedule of author signings, including stars of horror and science fiction films.
10. Dutton’s Books – Burbank Store Closed years ago, see post about it and the Dutton Book Empire elsewhere on this blog. (check the list of articles and stories). This was the perfect neighborhood book shop, run by an intelligent staff. They carried both new and second hand books, with lots of perennial classics.
11. Dutton’s Books – North Hollywood This was Dave Dutton’s flagship store. When business took a dive in the 2008 crash he retired. The premises was a Yoga Studio for a while, I don’t know who is in there now. It was a great shop, and I spent many hours browsing there. It was a large store, with an interesting mix of new and second-hand. Books were piled everywhere. Dave could usually be found in the parking lot area behind the shop, sorting through the never-ending avalanche that poured in. Dave and his shop missed by everyone with an ounce of culture.
12. Howard Lowery Gallery Specialty here was animation art of all kinds, especially Disney art, movie memorabilia, and comic art. Howard was a very experienced dealer in these fields, having run the monthly auctions at Collector’s Bookshop on Hollywood Blvd. for years. He ran his own auctions, usually held at the Burbank Hilton, and made a name for himself as the go-to expert in the field of animation art. The shop is sadly long gone and I believe Howard is retired.
13. Iliad Bookshop Owned by Dan Weinstien, he was forced to re-locate when the rent spike hit. This shop on Vineland was famous for its great Mural that covered all three storefronts. Dan found another spot and managed to scrape enough together to buy his building, and is now at 5400 Cahuenga Blvd., in North Hollywood. He has a great new Mural that runs on two sides of the building, as we have written about and photographed on this site. Treat yourself to a visit to this wonderful store, packed with good books and with really great prices. This is the last big book shop to survive in the area, so please support it. One of his cats is pictured on our banner.
14. Last Grenadier – Burbank This store had an excellent selection of Military History, books on Uniforms, Regimental Histories, related magazines, and also board games and armies of little lead soldiers, many colorfully painted by their staff. Just before the wrecking ball took out the block they moved up north a few blocks on the same street, but the high rents eventually forced another move, this time over to the west side of Burbank on Hollywood Way, just south of Magnolia. They were there for a few years but closed when the rents went up. The owner, Rocky, at one time had 5 game stores and with partners ran the Los Angeles area game and military conventions, always a lot of fun to attend.
15. Magnolia Park Book Shop. This shop started over 70 years ago by two guys who were remainder book salesmen. Eventually it sold to a gentleman who bought the property. He had a manager running the shop, but the manager died in a tragic car crash. Also killed in the crash was his son, the product of a concurrent marriage with another woman, wife #2. A bitter shock to wife #1. His widow ran the shop for years. She sat by the front door, a thin, wizend old gal, smoking a cigarette and usually talking to anyone who would listen. Her opinions about her present and former customers were classic and caustic. I got the impression there weren’t many folks that she liked, except her friend the landlady, who was in her 90s and renting the store to her for the bargain price of $300 per month. I leased the shop in 1993 when she retired to an old folks home, paying over 5 times the rent the previous tenant paid. Four months later the place was almost entirely destroyed by the January 17, 1994 earthquake. The front windows blew out, the ceiling collapsed, the shelving came down and the water lines snapped, flooding the shop and ruining thousands of books. It took us months to recover, but eventually it opened and was very successful. The shop ran for about 10 years under the capable management of Gaye Hunnicutt. It eventually was closed due to the building being sold to a rich landlord who wanted the location for his daughter’s mattress shop. That lasted a year, now it is a high end spa. From Books to Bedding and Beyond, to slur a current ad slogan. But hey, in this society what’s more important? Fancy Nails for sure. Definitely the new standard for culture. Daaahling, with those long nails you couldn’t even turn the page of a book without tearing it.
16. Reader’s Edge This shop was actually in Montrose, a City that used to be part of the north end of Glendale. It was located on a charming tree-lined street and served the local community with a selection of used paperbacks and hardcovers. The old couple who ran it were very nice folks, I think the store closed many years ago because of their failing health and old age.
17. Twice Told Tales A tiny shop about a block from Magnolia Park Books on the North side of the street, run by a character who could have been out of a Jack London novel: Ty Stanley (not his real name as I found out later). He was a Chicago guy, and palled around with Jay Robert Nash, the famous writer of true crime and mafia books, including the massive Encyclopedia of True Crime. He looked like he was Klaus Kinski’s twin brother, just frightening enough to ward off trouble at crucial moments. He was always scouting for books and paintings and he was a frequent “guest” at the old Bond Street store, bringing in boxes of material to flog on us. He was one of the most dedicated book scouts I ever met, and I learned a lot of advanced techniques from him. When relaxing he always had some wild stories to tell about his Chicago days. I got the impression that it was a good idea for him not to go back there. One tragic incident that occurred toward the end of his career was that he was hit on the head from behind with a crow bar and robbed of a large amount of cash that he always carried. This happened at a liquor store in the seedy area of NOHO. The attacker stole his van, with him in it, parked it and left him pretty much for dead. He seemed to recover from that horrible incident, but he was drinking a lot of beer, which led to a drunk driving arrest. He called my book shop from jail and wanted us to post bond for him, which we agreed to do. Against our advice he sent one of his young friends up to the store to pick up the $1500 bail money. The guy he sent was another book scout, generally a good guy, related to a famous book family in Los Angeles, but at the time sucking fumes out of a crack pipe. He picked up the cash for Ty’s bail and then disappeared, not seen again for months. This happened on a Friday, meaning that since the bail was not paid Mr. Stanley was still in the can on Monday, calling us as soon as he could Que up for a pay phone. He wondered if we had had a change of heart, but blew his stack when we said we had given the dough to his pal, who had probably gone on a two-month crack binge. My partner Steve then went downtown to L.A. County Jail and posted bond for him, another $1500, springing him Monday night. Ty paid us back immediately. He then went looking for his pal, but luckily (for both of them) he couldn’t find him, or there might have been some Chicago style justice. Sometime in the 1990s he had a heart attack and died. His son – whom Ty had never mentioned, cleaned out the shop. Thus ended the fascinating tales that emanated from that little hole in the wall. Too bad Jay Robert Nash didn’t write Ty Stanley’s biography, it would have been a doozy.
18. Weinstein Fine Books A nice shop in central Glendale run by a veteran bookman and a member of the Weinstein family, Sam Weinstein. In his career he started, bought and sold several bookshops, I remember I first met him in Vista, CA. where he was running a shop. This store is long gone, and Sam passed in 2017. His son Dan owns and operates the great Iliad Book Store in NOHO.
19. H & H Book Services. This shop is an old fashioned book bindery, run by two brothers, John and Jack Papuchyan, both superb artists and craftsmen. They opened their first bindery in Burbank in the rear area of a store behind the old Bond Street Books. Later they landed jobs at Heritage Books in West Hollywood. They moved to this location many years ago, and if you need a rare book restored, this is where you go. The shop is still open at this writing.
Once again, I hope you have enjoyed looking back at the golden age of book shops in the Burbank, NOHO, and Glendale area. Out of the 19 shops listed only 4 survive, and two of those are at different locations. Please send your comments, memories, corrections, or whines to us.