An LA Observed reader who works at Cal State Long Beach stopped by Wilshire Books in Santa Monica and found the store cleared out. "Quietly closed at the end of December," he writes. The store had been there since at least the 1970s, and I found one website that proclaimed, "The world's best bookstore is Wilshire Books, on Wilshire Boulevard in Santa Monica, California. It is small and perfect in every way in which a bookstore ought to be perfect. Prices are fair, never more than accurate reflections of the market; frequently bargains." The review is so enthusiastic, let's hear more:
Its shelves are fastidiously maintained in strict alphabetical order (something ordinarily unheard-of among used bookstores, most of which are dusty if not actually dirty, and whose stocks are rarely in any order at all).
It's a small room. If you go there in search of a particular title, you may be disappointed; but if you go looking for interesting books, you'll find plenty. The proprietor, Mr Lee Peffer, exercises his taste and discernment in purchasing stock: it's varied and lively. I get the feeling that I'm in a private library, except that everything's for sale!
The phone has been disconnected.