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Bookish Bars: Pretend Lit for the Pretentious?

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The not-so-bookish side of Library Bar / Photo by Ernesto D. Arias via the LAist Featured Photos pool on Flickr

The not-so-bookish side of Library Bar / Photo by Ernesto D. Arias via the LAist Featured Photos pool on Flickr
Styleture posted a very cool round up of Los Angeles bars that feature books prominently in the decor. You know the kind. Library Bar. Hyperion Tavern. The Wellesbourne. Heck, evenMolly Malones once featured a fully-stocked, well-loved library of books on their worn shelves.

If literary decor is all that's considered, these spots certainly provide a bookish ambience for bar-goers. The oversized shelves, the spotlights on important tomes and the deep, dark walnut walls all work together to create what Styleture calls "an atmosphere of intellectualism and sophistication."

All fine, all good. But...why?

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Though it's well-documented that many a writer penned their most lucid works while heavily sloshed, it doesn't follow that Angelenos will actually read any books while they order the latest cocktail concoction. We've never (not once!) seen someone pull a book off a shelf and actually read while chatting it up with friends and potential dates during a night on the town. Have you?

If LA patrons are flocking to these bookish bars but have no intention of boning up on their Hemingway, what's the lure? To simply appear to be literarily minded while being the opposite? Or do truly bookish Angelenos take comfort in hanging out at a bar that surrounds them with the things they love: books and booze?

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