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Arts and Entertainment

Goodbye Dutton's: You Were a Bright Spot

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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.

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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 callie@laist.com. Or share in the comments!