Sunday, January 10, 2016

Stories - Los Angeles, CA

Stories - Los Angeles, CA
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Twenty years ago you wouldn't have walked through the Echo Park neighborhood of LA where Stories is located.  Back then this area was unsafe, dominated by gangs and violence.  And now?  You'll find diverse shops, restaurants, and an independent bookstore with a cafe.  To me, it seems the area is becoming more hip.  That perception helps thanks to an independent bookstore.

Stories is a one-level bookstore located on busy Sunset Blvd.  It has been in business now for 7 years, a great sign for any indie.  You'll find new and used books here as well as some collectables and signed first editions.  They obtain their used books in a variety of ways including estate sales and from customers.  They're particular about the books they buy from customers but they do offer store credit or cash for the ones they want.  7 years of business doesn't happen without a good customer base and the neighborhood around Stories includes young people and families with young children who patronize the store.  They're also seeing more tourists all the time, another good component of successful indies.  The cafe is a huge part of the business here, always a good asset for any bookstore.  That's even more important since there are few sidelines beyond the typical journals, postcards, and a few items that kids will enjoy.

I met two of the co-owners on the day of my visit, Liz and Claudia.  Liz was very gracious to take time to talk to me and tell me a bit about the store and the area.  She told me the store has frequent author events and they hold those in a very nice patio area located behind the store.  If you drive to this store I would advise that you use the parking lot in back rather than trying to park on busy Sunset Blvd.

Regular readers know that I've already visited and written about some great bookstores in the LA area.  There are no shortage of good ones to checkout and now I've given you one more to add to your list.  Pay a visit to Stories and find a good "story" to add to your reading pile.  Go to an indie and buy a book.  Bonsoir.

CURRENTLY READING:  Unlikely Warrior: A Jewish Soldier In Hitler's Army, Georg Rauch.

RECENTLY PURCHASED:  Jesus Boy, Preston Allen.

Front window display.  

I love dog-friendly indies!

This sign should bring in some foot traffic.  

Check out some of the bargains before you enter the store.  

Nice view looking through the store from the front entrance.  

View looking to the left from the front entrance and some of the greeting cards available.  

Another long view of the store.  The cafe is toward the back on the right.  

The left wall of books.  

Uniquely made genre signs.  

A portion of the children's section.  

A book lover could get comfortable here with a cafe like this.  

The last two lines of this sign would work in any indie!  

My guess is that some of you readers could have used this tea on New Year's Day.  

Some of the journals and additional sidelines.  

When you go out the back door you'll see this nice patio space where they host author events.  

Another view of the patio area.  Enter the red door and you're back in the store.  

A few more of the sidelines available.  

This display near the front of the store has some of the collectable and vintage books.

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