Best Bookstore — Valley - 2012
With approximately 125,000 books in a laid-back, 5,000-square-foot space, North Hollywood's Iliad Books is the kind of store where a bibliophile can get lost in a comfortable couch for hours, perusing volumes both ancient and modern. Previously located several blocks away on Vineland, next to Odyssey Video — yes, its name was a playful riff on the adjacent porn store — owner Dan Weinstein's operation moved six years ago to its current Cahuenga location, gaining square footage in the process. In this age of Nooks and Kindles, Weinstein handpicks the massive paper & ink collection, which is stacked in endless rows of impressively high wooden shelves, and highlights a regal collection of classically bound leather and gold-embossed titles behind the counter. According to Weinstein, business is actually good. Perhaps that's because a store full of digital document files couldn't possibly offer the same comforting atmosphere. 5400 Cahuenga Blvd., N. Hlywd. (818) 509-2665, iliadbooks.com.