Readers React: For a taste of what Caravan Book Store offered, wander around your local library
To the editor: Los Angeles Times reporter Thomas Curwen deserves an Oscar for his poignant description of the magical world revealed to Caravan Book Store visitors. (“Requiem for a bookstore: Caravan writes its final chapter,” March 2)
I confess I made very infrequent pilgrimages to this shrine of eccentricity in downtown L.A. For those who mourn its passing, a glimmering of Caravan’s delights can still be found in other libraries.
Bury yourself in the stacks of any large library; yes, search for a particular book, but allow yourself the freedom to wander and poke around the edges of your target and you will find byways — that “no step had trodden black” — to distant worlds you never imagined. Sadly, I understand, even this experience is fading as libraries take books off their shelves that are seldom checked out, to make room for more popular reading material.
So it goes: The old, the quaint, the naive dreams, disappear — like Caravan, like our grandparents, like our parents, and our lives are made poorer.
John Schwada, Los Angeles
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