Three times I have tried to move a vintage book store downtown after they had problems paying the rent elsewhere in the city. But in each case, Portland's Powell Books or an auction company or a e-bay seller bought up the stock. And now the premiere rare book dealer in the city is about to become no more...
A rare treasure will soon be extinct
Heritage Book Shop, a West Hollywood fixture prized by collectors of antiquarian volumes throughout the world, is closing.
By Scott Timberg
Times Staff Writer
June 20, 2007
Los Angeles, and the country at large, have been losing bookstores lately to forces that have become familiar in the trade: rising rents, competition from national retail chains and the discounts offered by online booksellers.
Yet the latest casualty has come not from financial failure but from a combination of success and a stroke of luck — for the owners of Heritage Book Shop, at least. The Melrose Avenue fixture has been considered one of the finest and most lucrative antiquarian bookstores in the country. And although business continues to boom, the bookstore has been made an offer it cannot refuse.
"It was sudden for me," said Ben Weinstein, one of the two Brooklyn-born brothers who moved the shop to West Hollywood two decades ago after they had run a thrift store in Compton and bookstores on Hollywood Boulevard and La Cienega Boulevard. This spring, the building was sold to a local businessman, and the ink is still drying on a separate sale of the $10 million or so in inventory to an as-yet-undisclosed auction house.
The only good news I have to report is that I am currently in negotiations to bring a NEW vintage book dealer to Downtown's Main Street.