Borders and Dalton are fine as bookstores go — fresh-scrubbed, vacuumed and disinfected shrines to best-sellers and rock celebs. But walking into the decades-old Hollywood shop Counterpoint Records and Books is a bit like entering a fabulous attic. Immediately, you’re hit by the musty smell that comes from books and record-album covers that have been around, in some cases, longer than you have. Thirty-three-rpm LPs are stacked onto high shelves, and tucked under display bins — not unlike memory itself. There are many classical-music selections, some folk, rock and jazz. I spotted the film score to A Man and a Woman, and standup comedy by Allan Sherman (“Hello Muddah, Hello Faddah/Here I am at Camp Granada/Life is very entertaining/And I think we’ll have some fun when it stops raining”). You can find Descartes and John Locke in hardcover editions that date back to the ’20s, as well as paperback potboilers from the ’50s, and a 1953 book that teaches women how to be good girls (wasn’t everyone good in 1953?) — e.g., what they should and shouldn’t give up. Counterpoint isn’t retro-chic or tiresomely glib like Wacko and other stores, it’s more like going to Grandma’s house. Sometimes Grandma leaves things lying around, and her sense of order is not what you’d call fastidious, especially up there, in the attic, but it’s fun to explore.
5911 Franklin Ave., Hlywd., (323) 957-7965.