A break from my usual onslaught of reviews to promote a site full of an onslaught of welcome bibliomania. Stephen J. Gertz five times a week publishes a thoughtful and often witty article on his blog Booktryst. Yesterday, I saw the original dust jackets for "Ulysses," "Portrait," and "Dubliners", for example, at Superstar 1st edition of Ulysses to be auctioned by Sotheby's. A few days ago, a Rockwell Kent presentation package of "Moby Dick" appeared, and the various covers of the earliest versions of "The Great Gatsby."
He also keeps up a shaggy-dog tale about schnorrers, nebbishes, and gonifs in the old Tinseltown secondhand trade as if from an old pulp novel, which captures a raffish mood now vanished. I am surprised (but it may be since he's the inevitable bookish New Yorker transplanted to this sun-kissed, smog-shrouded outpost of vapidity) that he has not mentioned to date the Pickwick's on Hollywood Boulevard of my childhood, the first bookstore I remember and the one even my philistine parents regarded as the infallible purveyor of any volume out. Which it once seemed.
(Postcard via GS Jansen, a bit before my time, Christmas 1946, but you can see Pickwick in green on the right. Reminiscence by a clerk who worked there in 1969, with a b/w photo of the store's vast interior.)