Sunday, January 17, 2016

Chevalier's Books - Los Angeles, CA

Chevalier's Books - Los Angeles, CA
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Readers, I have a bone to pick with you.  You all know that I'm traveling the country visiting independent bookstores, right?  Well, how is it that NOBODY clued me in about Chevalier's Books in Los Angeles?  This place is awesome and I want to know why you didn't tell me about it!  Ok, all is forgiven because my visit here was outstanding and now I'm hopeful that more of you will now know about it.

Chevalier's Books is located in the Larchmont neighborhood of LA, an area of unique shops, restaurants, and coffeehouses.  This affluent area is populated by many educated and creative people who place a high priority in having a bookstore in their vicinity.  Thanks to these local residents, business has been strong here for 70+ years, a remarkable run for a bookstore.  And after seeing the store and talking to the fine people who work there, I see no reason why this success shouldn't continue.

My first impression entering this store was of neatness and organization.  Excellent on both counts.  All new books here on one level, and an annex room to the left of the entrance that allows for additional genres.  There are a few sidelines here like the usual greeting cards, journals, and book related t-shirts.  They're still experimenting with this but will be limited by how much they might add due to space.  The store is under the new ownership of Bert D. and Darryl H., and this is a very positive development for the future of the store.

Chevalier's does a great job of bringing people into the store in a variety of ways.  They have a weekly story time for children as well as a weekly music time (which, I understand, involves someone with a ukelele!).  They are also active with author events and have some flexibility in the store to accommodate a good crowd.  I'm not a big fan of driving here but if you drive, you might be able to snag on-street parking.

The staff here was the best.  Erica, the store manager, couldn't have been nicer and more generous with her time.  It was wonderful to meet her as well as Riley, Liz, and other staff.  These people will be able to give you a great bookstore experience.  Clearly, Bert and Darryl have surrounded themselves with great people.  Every bit as important as having good books on the shelves.

Readers, I've now put Chevalier's Books on your destination list.  Since none of you tipped me off about this place, I'm letting YOU know.  Check out this 5-star indie with a "storied" past and a bright future.  Go to an indie and buy a book.  Bonsoir.

JUST FINISHED:  Unlikely Warrior: A Jewish Soldier In Hitler's Army, Georg Rauch.  Memoir of an Austrian with Jewish heritage who was like any other young kid on either side of the war, just a normal guy.  But was a pawn with no escape from the Third Reich.  He survives brutal conditions in Russia and as a prisoner.  Many of you have read memoirs of allied soldiers, this is one from the other side.  Classified as young adult lit but that won't matter.  This book is outstanding and I highly recommend it.

CURRENTLY READING:  Breaking Creed, Alex Kava.

RECENTLY PURCHASED:  Devil In A Blue Dress, Walter Mosley.

A great front window display despite the glare.  I guess you'll have to visit and see for yourself!

View looking into the store from the front entrance.  

Looking to the left from the front entrance where you'll find some of the greeting cards available.  

Display of new arrivals.  Have you read any of these yet?  

This is the annex room.  From the entrance, go immediately to the left and you'll find this area.  I also enjoy the art work displayed on the walls in this room.  

Always like finding a place to sit and try out a book.  

Some of the art work in the annex room. 

Some of the journals and t-shirts available.  

A portion of the children's section.  

View looking from the back of the store toward the front entrance.  

The coloring book craze is nation-wide.  

Some of the poster-sized book covers displayed around the store.  

With Erica, the store manager.  Thanks for a great visit.  

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