Saturday, August 14, 2010

Dawson's Book Shop is closing its doors

Today I'm posting about the fabled Dawson's Book Shop, which is in Los Angeles rather than Orange County. But it should be of interest to you anyway. As they explain on their website, "Since 1905, Dawson's Book Shop has been a leading source in Southern California for rare and out of print books in the fields of California history, Western Americana and photography. In fact, Dawson's is the oldest continuously operating book shop in the city of Los Angeles..."
"...Ernest Dawson started the shop in downtown Los Angeles. After three moves downtown and a transfer of ownership to the second generation of Glen and Muir Dawson, the shop settled on Larchmont Boulevard in the Hollywood/Hancock Park area in 1968. Michael Dawson marks the third generation of the Dawson family to helm this Los Angeles treasure."
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The photo at the top of today's post shows Michael Dawson minding the till and Orange County historian Phil Brigandi thumbing through a book in the background.
Sadly, Dawson's will soon be giving up its "bricks and mortar" store and will only be selling online. If you want to buy a lot of great California and Western history books for 75% off, I strongly suggest a trip to Los Angeles before the sale ends, next Saturday, August 21. I went last week and spent $144, which would have been $576 without the sale! (And I'm sure I will kick myself for not buying even more.)
My fellow fans of Mid-Century Modern architecture will also appreciate the look of Dawson's. It feels like one of the Case Study houses.
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It's a crying shame that this place is going away. Of course, I also thought it was a crying shame when so many other wonderful bookstores bit the dust over the past five years or so.
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Online shopping may have certain advantages. But it can NEVER take the place of browsing through the shelves of a good used book shop and making unexpected discoveries.
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The folks who tell us differently also trust Wikipedia entries and think "library" is pronounced "li-berry." A pox on all of them.

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

Dutton's in Brentwood, The Book Barron in Anaheim and who remembers Pickwick Books at the old Fashion Square in Santa Ana!
All gone.
Thanks for the post.

outsidetheberm said...

Your parting thought brought a chuckle. So very true.

Dawson's will be missed. Guess there'll be an unplanned trip north this week.

Chris Jepsen said...

Anonymous: Don't forget Lorson's in Fullerton, Acres of Books in Long Beach, Bookman II in Huntington Beach, Apollo Books in Costa Mesa, etc, etc, etc,...

Susan Deering said...

While up in LA, take a trip to Caravan Books on Grand between 5th and 6th to see Leonard Bernstein. A similar book shop experience now in its second generation of family ownership and operation.

Anonymous said...

Chris, you forgot to mention Crown books in Fountain Valley.

Chris Jepsen said...

I was mainly talking about independent used and collectible book sellers. But I wish the Crown chain was still around too. (Not the "remainders" outfit that bought their name, but the original Crown books.) For their era, they had excellent prices on new and popular titles.

Matthew said...

Don't forget Aladdin in Fullerton. At least there is a good gelato shop there now...