When you compare those big, cavernous chain bookstores to a quaint, personalized spot like Skylight Books, it's no surprise that the former have mostly been shuttered, while the latter continues to flourish. Stroll by and you might catch the strains of a group playing Talking Heads tunes in between Jonathan Lethem's reading of his book on the band. Join one of its book clubs and find yourself with a bunch of smart new friends from the surrounding cool-kid neighborhood, Los Feliz. Browse the eclectically stocked shelves, still dotted with those neat little tags bearing handwritten reviews from the staff, and take care not to step on the in-store cat, who often lolls in the patch of sun near the poetry section. Can't find what you're looking for? Just ask one of the helpful employees, often a talented writer in his or her own right. 1818 N. Vermont Ave., Los Feliz. (323) 660-1175, skylightbooks.com
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