From The Los Angeles Times:
The back wall at the Blue Bottle Coffee in downtown Los Angeles is lined from top to bottom with books.
The airy coffee destination fills the corner of the historic Bradbury Building in downtown Los Angeles. Behind plate-glass windows, patrons can be seen drifting to the counter for personalized service at the newest Los Angeles outpost of the Oakland-based chain. Some settle down at shared tables; others sit on high stools. A few are drawn to the tall, book-filled wall.
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“If you can reach it, you can have it,” says Rose Bridges, the company’s local spokesperson.
This literary wall is Blue Bottle’s first “library” — a partnership with the nearby Library Foundation of Los Angeles, whose used books line the majority of the cafe’s reachable shelves. Titles range from “The Hunger Games” to “Hamlet” and are free for reading in-store or available for purchase at $7 each, with proceeds benefiting the foundation.
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In cafes and bars, skate shops and co-working spaces, books are popping up everywhere in Los Angeles — and as more than just decor.
“Instead of going to a coffee shop and reading, I could just come here,” says Kat Bronstroup, a film production manager, admiring a copy of the literary vampire thriller “The Passage” by Justin Cronin at Catcher in the Rye, a bar in Toluca Lake.
When Eric Hodgkins opened Catcher in 2014, he bought a couple hundred used books to complement his literary-themed craft cocktails (the bar’s namesake is made with rye whiskey, his favorite spirit; other drinks include the Big Bukowski and Tequila Mockingbird). Stacked in a back corner next to a couch, the colorful texts give the space a “Friends” meets “How I Met Your Mother” vibe.
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Babylon is another fixture of the local skate scene. An unassuming white house on Highland Avenue, the space is a storefront for skater apparel and gear with a backyard bowl.
Inside, a small bookshelf shares the side wall with three skateboards carrying the Babylon logo. Flipping through dozens of zines and picture books, I came across “Legal Issues” by Adam Rossiter, 17 printed pages of the legal troubles of various pop culture icons, sourced from Wikipedia.
Link to the rest at The Los Angeles Times and thanks to Dave for the tip.