This time we talked to Gregory Tower, head buyer of used books at The Last Bookstore in LA. We asked Gregory about Los Angeles’ readers and their response to literature, the audience’s favorite books, the challenges the bookstore may face and more! Enjoy the interview.
- How does the community of Los Angeles respond to literature and bookstores?
There’s a literary renaissance going on in Los Angeles right now. Lots of new presses and a new generation of readers and writers. Our store is a beneficiary of that movement.
- How do you think the place where you are located affects the readers’ vision of literature?
Because we’re located in a revitalized downtown there’s a renewed interest in LA writers, past and present. We have a lot of people reading Fante, Chandler, Babitz, Connelly, Bukowski for the first time, or with new eyes.
- What is something special about Los Angeles readers?
They’re very egalitarian.
- What kind of audience usually goes to the bookstore? Do you have any strategy to attract people?
We’re a major tourist destination as well as a local resource.
- What can you learn from the reader audience?
That literature is still vital in an age of social media.
- Which are your audience’s favorite books? What can you recommend to readers right now?
Our audience’s interests are too vast to quantify. My personal favorites include Clarice Lispector, Thomas Bernhard, Ingeborg Bachman, Gary Lutz, and my girlfriend, Francesca Lia Block.
- What is the greatest challenge for a bookstore nowadays? How do you see its future?
Our mission statement: Getting the right book to the right person at the right price.
- What is special about The Last Bookstore?
Everything! And the average price of a used book is $5.
Visit The Last Bookstore’s webpage here.
Follow them on Twitter: @lastbookstorela
All photos belong to The Last Bookstore.