Continuing our journey along Antique Row, we spotted this used book store — just a bit east of The Madrid Theatre in Canoga Park.
Book stores are fast becoming a thing of the past. With the closing of the Border books in Woodland Hills and at the Northridge mall last year, options for purveyors of the new printed medium have coalesced into one major outlet in the West Valley at the big box retailer Barnes and Noble on Topanga Canyon.
But, where do you find the books from days of yore? You remember, those used and hard to find books that were once cherished possessions of the literate and well read?
Just like the new book stores, the used book store seems to be going by the way of literacy with a few shining exceptions right here in the West Valley.
One gem of the gently used book domain is the Canoga Park jewel Next Chapter Books. Recently relocated to their storefront on Sherman Way, at Owensmouth, Next Chapter is a terrific book boutique store that can quickly bind you into spending an hour or more looking for that perfect book that you didn’t know you had to have.
Occupying a one time dance studio, Next Chapter’s electric blue facade, is hard to miss as you take in the sights on the boulevard. With ample street and alley parking, the store offers any book lover an oasis of gently used literature from just about every facet of life or interest. While the store is in a relatively wide space, the owner, Boyd Davis, has done a good job in keeping the space well-kept and free from a lot of miscellaneous materials not related to the business. There are a few books under glass in a rare books case and just a smidgen stacks around the counter.
And, if you’re a military history, aviation and space lover, you’ll likely find that special book you’ve been looking for as the store has a wider than most collection of books on the subjects.
Another of out favorite used book stores in the San Fernando Valley is David Kaye Books & Memorabilia. Tucked away on your way out of the West Valley at Ventura and Fallbrook, this used book and memorabilia shop serves as the brick and mortar store for a busy online business specializing in rare books, movie posters, and hard to find entertainment collectibles. Festooned with bright signs and window letters, from the outside, the store is not much to look (and a bit hard to find) from the boulevard. But once inside, the store itself is everything a used book store should be, complete with a check out counter almost buried in recently acquired brick-a-brack.
The store does not have much of an internet presence, but for what it may lack in the online world, the store makes up for it with tightly packed shelves full old board games, collectible knickknacks, and a host of rare and exotic books covering a variety of genres. One of the things I like about this store is that it skips all together the pulp pocket books that seem to fill the shelves of most used book stores, relying instead of some truly one of a kind finds and collectible books.
I know a few more used book stores out there, all of which are on my list of places to visit. Do you ever visit any used book stores? Which is your favorite?