Yesterday at dim sum DM showed me an article on LA Times about The Iliad Bookshop, which was named the best used bookstore in LA by the Los Angeles Magazine in April 2007. That article jumpstarted our day after dim sum, as we drove from San Gabriel Valley to North Hollywood. Nested in the quiet stretch of Cahuenga Boulevard in the NoHo artist district, The Iliad is housed in this dark orange adobe type of building at the corner. Upon entrance we were greeted by the 2-Dollar book-table—everything on it is 2 bucks. Owner Dan Weinstein briefly informed us the layout of the store, which has recently been renovated and expanded to 5,000 sq. feet. The fiction and literature section has been relocated to the annex toward the back of the well-lighted store with new hard-wood floor. Lounged on a soft leather single-seat couch, asleep, is the one-eyed residence cat Zola. This is the list of what I acquired after a quick 15-minute browse:
Brightness Falls, Jay McInerney
Published in 1992 to great reviews, this novel introduces the characters later seen in 2006’s The Good Life, which I enjoyed tremendously.
Hold Tight, Christopher Bram
The Iliad has multiple copies of Bram’s first editions. This book is a page-turner about a gay man who is made a spy against the Nazi in a brothel.
Grapes of Wrath, John Steinbeck
I’m getting my hand on this one after I zipped through East of Eden, which has now made my all-time favorite novel list.
Fingersmith, Sarah Waters
Many of you have raved about how you cannot put down this book. I have started reading this morning and it’s catching on like a wild fire. The copy I got is the hardbound, UK edition, with library wrap—for $10.
We had to leave after the brief visit due to impending plans. But if I’m allowed to browse the whole store more closely, going through the canyons of shelves and matching the selections against my list, I would need a big rig to carry the loots home. The prices are so competitive. The Iliad Bookshop, by the way is named so because at the time it first opened there was a video store next door called the Odyssey at the old location. The homey feeling to the store has, I’m sure driven book lovers and readers to the book mecca. So who says people in LA don’t read?