Support for LAist comes from
Made of L.A.
Stay Connected

Share This

This is an archival story that predates current editorial management.

This archival content was written, edited, and published prior to LAist's acquisition by its current owner, Southern California Public Radio ("SCPR"). Content, such as language choice and subject matter, in archival articles therefore may not align with SCPR's current editorial standards. To learn more about those standards and why we make this distinction, please click here.

Arts and Entertainment

Goodbye Dutton's: You Were a Bright Spot

Support your source for local news!
The local news you read here every day is crafted for you, but right now, we need your help to keep it going. In these uncertain times, your support is even more important. Today, put a dollar value on the trustworthy reporting you rely on all year long. We can't hold those in power accountable and uplift voices from the community without your partnership. Thank you.

Many LAist staffers, contributors and readers were deeply troubled by the news of Dutton's closure. We all have a favorite memory of Dutton's - a particular book we discovered there, an admired author we met at a reading, a certain afternoon spent browsing. We'd like to honor the many unique memories of Dutton's that we all share with a series of posts about what Dutton's meant to us and what it meant to you. Our first post in this series is from LAist reader Laura Hertzfeld:

I have a lot of favorite things about LA. But when I tell out-of-towners that one of my favorite places in LA is a bookstore in Brentwood, it is always received with shock.

First of all, Brentwood is yuppieville, with babies and strollers and Jennifer Garner – a far cry from my usual Venice surroundings. Secondly — a bookstore, in LA, land of TV and movies and fake plastic people? I am persistently mocked and told that people don’t read here. Everyone said that when I left San Francisco I’d have to kiss my City Lights fantasies goodbye – that the only redeeming thing about bookstores in LA is the fleeting celebrity signing (a la Borat) or the record store across the street.

Support for LAist comes from

Dutton's proved all of them wrong. I would often run into friends from across town, family members who live in the neighborhood, and, yes, the odd bookish celeb when I visited the store. I would see fellow bibliophiles hard at work (and not necessarily on screenplays) in the quiet café. I would browse the art and travel books in the back, dreaming of places to go and things to see. I would ask for an out-of-print cookbook and the staff would dig it up for me, or try their very best.

In the endless landscape of the Borders and Barnes & Nobles of the world, Dutton's was a bright spot. I'm going to miss it.

If you would like to share your Dutton's memory, email it to Or share in the comments!

Most Read