If I could go back in time I would probably spend this Independent Bookstore Day at the long gone Either/Or Bookstore in Hermosa Beach. I’ve encountered better bookstores over the years (I’m looking at you Powell’s Books, Sundog Books, Chaucer’s Books, Mysterious Galaxy and City Lights Books) but Either/Or is the one where I had my eyes opened to “On The Road,” “Ham On Rye,” “Siddhartha,” and “Breakfast of Champions”. Books by writers like Kerouac, Bukowski, Hesse and Vonnegut that set up residence in my mind during those important formative years.
Some of those books were already pretty old when I got around to reading them, but they were new to me and Either/Or was the place where I discovered them. It was a magical portal to a literary universe that I’m still groping around in three decades later. A place where hippies, punks and yuppies would co-mingle and collectively get their freak on.
If you want to find out a little more about Either/Or Bookstore, my friend and former band mate Garrison Frost wrote a pretty great warts-and-all ode on his blog a few years back (that’s where I stole the picture from—Hi Garrison!).
I tell you all of this because today is Independent Bookstore Day. If you’ve got any romantic notions about the Indie bookstores you have visited, make sure to stop by a few today. Here’s a short list of Indie bookstores in the Los Angeles area because that’s where I live, and hey—you’ve got to start somewhere: