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Store loss is like 'book burning'

January 21, 2007

Re "No one wants this L.A. classic to end," Jan. 17

I am dismayed to read about the possible closing of Dutton's Brentwood Books. It is the only bookstore I can walk into and simply say, "I need something to read," and someone will help me find just the right thing. It is the only bookstore where I can order a book and receive a phone call within three days telling me it is in and will be held for me for two weeks.

Charles T. Munger, a multimillionaire and partner of Warren E. Buffet, surely does not need to wipe out this important neighborhood literary gathering place and symbol of community. Eliminating Dutton's equates with book burning and cultural destruction.

MARSHA PASAROW SCHIFF

Los Angeles

*

The idea that affluent Beverly Hills cannot sustain a bookstore that is considered one of the best independents in the country in a city-owned building for longer than 24 months is truly unfortunate. For seven years I lived and worked in Paris, and the most telling aspect of that great city is its rich mix of the humble with the proud: elegant restaurants next to butcher and fruit stands; luxury shops next to tiny patisseries and flower vendors. And everywhere bookstores, large and small. Sustaining this combination of the exclusive and chic with the simple and plain creates a great sense of discovery and joy in the diversity of life. Dutton's Books, catering to all segments of the public, brought a bit of that special mix to Beverly Hills. It's sad to see it go.

JANICE PARENTE

Beverly Hills

*

We are relative newcomers to Dutton's in Brentwood. Regardless of the developer's avowed intentions, places like these can never be re-created. Once the ambience is lost, the new place would be just another bookstore and the regulars would disperse, looking for other bases. Ah, the sadness and the sorrow of it all; poor L.A. -- so much money, so little refuge.

M.T. GYEPES

Pacific Palisades

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