Legendary Los Angeles Bookstore Closes

Booklovers throughout California are lamenting the news that Caravan Book Store shut its doors for good last Tuesday. The shop, owned by 72-year-old Leonard Bernstein, had been a fixture of Grand Avenue in downtown Los Angeles since it opened in May of 1954. Among the many notable patrons of Caravan throughout the years were politicians, such as Jimmy Carter and Caroline Kennedy, and A-list celebrities, including Jodie Foster and Sting. Specializing in rare and antique books, Caravan was one of the few truly independent bookshops left not just in Los Angeles, but in the country as well. At Caravan, Bernstein cared less about which books were on the current bestseller list and more about which books he found interesting and that could inspire the imagination of his patrons. His books, Bernstein said, were not just merchandise he was selling, they were his friends.

It was these personal touches that set Caravan apart from other bookshops. Started as a family business, Bernstein noted to guests how as a younger man he had grown up at the store, which was then owned by his parents. Pointing to a shelf on a wall, Bernstein noted how it was built by his father and uncle. Turning another corner, one sees a nautical clock from the purser of the doomed Andrea Doria. A father, Bernstein’s children had also worked at Caravan. Although loving the family business, Bernstein’s children declined to buy the store, a decision that Bernstein found completely understandable.

Since announcing Caravan’s closure last month, Bernstein has witnessed a wide range of emotions from his most loyal customers, from disbelief to customers outright crying at the loss of the store. For himself, Bernstein acknowledges feeling a wide range of emotions at leaving Caravan behind, including grief. Nevertheless, throughout it all, Bernstein has stressed that closing Caravan was completely his decision and not due to pressure from landlords or financial factors. At 72 years old, Bernstein simply feels that it is time for him to slow down and enjoy his garden. Still, the city of Los Angeles will sorely miss Caravan, the final bookstore in the area that was once known as Booksellers Row.

On a less somber note, Bernstein reminds his patrons that while Caravan is closing, he will still be selling books. In a farewell email to his clients, Bernstein says that they can contact him anytime by appointment, phone, email, or the U.S. Postal Service.

Original Source: http://www.latimes.com/local/california/la-me-caravan-last-chapter-20180...



Whether you want to ask us a question, would like to solve a problem, or just give us a suggestion, you’ll find many ways to contact us right here.

Email: editor@norcal.news

Phone: (916) 225-9835

Fax: (916) 225-9845


Subscribe and get the latest updates, news and more...