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Volumes of Praise for Independent Bookstores

January 24, 1999

I feel lucky to live within walking distance of my favorite bookstore, Dutton's ("One 'Little Fish' Who Won't Abandon the Pond," SoCal P.O.V., by Patt Morrison, Dec. 6).

The column did justice to Doug Dutton, a businessman who knows his customers by their first names and whose booksellers are so well-read that they are able to suggest good books to anyone of any age.

What's more, for whatever school or nonprofit group I've been involved with during the past 10 years, Dutton has always been generous with gift certificates and/or a donation of books. His involvement with the community has made Dutton's not only the literary heart of Brentwood but the literal heart of Brentwood as well.

Jackie Hirtz

West Los Angeles

*

As a member of a book club, I've frequently had to ask Dutton and his staff for advice. Each time I've been rewarded with suggestions ranging from novelist Kate Atkinson to poet Philip Levine. And the children's department has steered me toward dozens of wonderful picture books for my two youngsters.

Dutton's has a family-like loyalty to its customers that cannot be measured in dollars and cents, underlining that the finer independent bookstores deserve our support.

Susan Wald

Brentwood

*

Morrison's wonderful column on Dutton's served as a reminder of The Book Grinder in Van Nuys, the "Cheers" of the booksellers' world. There, Asa or Jason serve you a cup of latte along with some of the most delicious muffins or bagels while you wander through their stacks of new and used books.

Rabbi Joseph N. Feinstein

Sherman Oaks

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