Equator Books and Village Books look for help


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The reports of bookstores shutting down have been too plentiful these last 18 months. Which is why it’s nice to hear about a couple of bookstores that aren’t gone (yet). The founders of Equator Books, located on the artsy commercial strip on Abbot Kinney Boulevard in Venice, know the store is in trouble — and they’re hoping for help. Specifically, they’re looking for new partners, as they explained in an e-mail this week.


Equator Books is actively (aggressively / desperately) seeking Investors! Don’t you think it’s time to swing that bat you’ve been holding all these years??

If you — or anyone you know — could foresee owning a part of one of the most widely heralded bookstores in the world, a bookstore that has been featured in teNeues’s COOL SHOPS LOS ANGELES, has been called the hottest store in LA by Angeleno magazine, a store that has been featured in numerous Japanese, Italian and French tour guides in addition to local guides Black Book & Wallpaper, and has been called one of the Five Paths to Enlightenment by New York Times Magazine...

NOW is the time. Call us or email us. The sooner the better.

The 5-year-old store is a good member of the community, providing a nice discount to members of public radio station KCRW and holding artist receptions and readings. It has a flair for books on art and music, design and literature; eclectic specialty categories include Surf & Skate, Prostitution & Call Girls, Black Studies, Circus Freaks & Bullfighting, Drugs & Crime. OK, so they’re edgy. The store is in still-somewhat-rebellious Venice, not up the coast in Pacific Palisades.

That’s the location of Village Books, which was pulled back from the brink in December with the help of Tom Hanks; he showed and signed books and DVDs people bought at the store. Village Books features mainstream literary fare; its book club is reading ‘The Soloist’ by L.A. Times columnist Steve Lopez. The small shop is trying out a new business model, creating a nonprofit, Palisades Village Book Friends, to support readings and other activities. ‘This ongoing financial support will provide vital cash flow for my store,’ says owner Katie Laughlin. The nonprofit is waiting for its tax-exempt paperwork to be approved, but donations made now would be retroactively tax-deductible.

Those with deep pockets might want to help these two bookstores remain with us. Shallower pockets? Buying a book would probably help too.

— Carolyn Kellogg