Duttons Down

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It’s abstractly depressing when you hear the statistics of independent bookstores closing in droves; it’s concretely depressing to see favorite bookstores in your town get the axe. First Dutton’s of Beverly Hills was forced to shut down; now the news is that the original Dutton’s will be remodeled out of existence. The LA Times reports that the landlord, Charles T. Munger, wants to build luxury condos. Apparently, Munger’s $1.7 billion net worth isn’t enough – he also needs some extra pocket change from rent. The claim is that the condos will be built atop a sleek, modern bookstore, but I have my doubts. One, that a sleek modern bookstore can ever replace the idiosyncratic layout of Dutton’s, and two, that once Munger starts remodeling, the plans will change to either eliminate Duttons completely or give it only a token space.

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  1. I work in an independent bookstore, and sometimes it feels like working in a corset shop or trying to sell powdered wigs.

  2. It is a little ironic that Munger is tearing apart Dutton’s. Considering he donated $21 million to help build, what is now called, The Munger Reasearch Center at the Huntington Library. Make up your mind Charlie!!

  3. I feel your pain…in the Bay Area, long-time indie sellers Cody’s Books on Telegraph and A Clean Well-Lighted Place for Books both closed in 2006. Very sad state of affairs.