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Hangout Of The '90s

October 18, 1992

Why is Margo Kaufman so joyously recommending BookStar, a chain bookstore that she herself giddily likens to a theme park? Is she unaware that our local independent bookstores, the backbone of any city's literary life, are having a tough time competing against the price-slashing of these deep-pocketed fat cats?

BookStar and its ilk can be likened to the McDonald's phenomenon; just because six billion have been served doesn't mean they've eaten a good meal. And besides, how long do you think the "great prices" will last once the chains have driven their independent competitors out of business?

Hopefully, most book lovers find "heaven" in a well-selected independent bookshop with a knowledgeable, service-oriented staff, not in nationwide corporate giants where shoppers are "guided by orange neon signs."

STACEY RAVEL ABARBANEL, SANTA MONICA

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