Pasadena’s Cliff’s Books, despite its labeled sections, is not organized. The folks who run it aren’t friendly — in fact, one might say they are downright cantankerous. Oh, and Cliff’s Books isn’t the cleanest: I once found a crumpled napkin filled with masticated food behind a row of music books. But Cliff’s Books is vast, cavernous, easy to get lost in and, most important, open till midnight. Who needs a “friendly” staff anyway? And who can blame these guys? With a generation of readers about to become absorbed into the changing face of literacy — e.g., the Kindle — and accustomed to being waited on hand and foot at the big book chains, and used to parking their butts in front of the magazine stand to read everything within reach and then leave it tossed on the floor like so much discarded trash, is it any wonder the mom-and-pop bookstore has become a battlefield? Here rare paperbacks sit in a glass case waiting to be purchased; an old Aesop’s Tales from the ’20s with beautiful inlaid drawings was recently found for $10, there are deals to be had, plus dusty H.P Lovecraft and Raymond Chandler aplenty. Either you’re with Cliff’s or you’re against it. We say, bring your curiosity, bring your leisure time and bring your common sense. 630 E. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena. (626) 449-9541. —Nikki Darling

LA Weekly