Now that Leimert Park has secured a stop on the soon-to-be-built Crenshaw Line, word has it that rents are starting to go up. Here's hoping that trend doesn't displace Esowon Books, which has managed to survive the general decline of brick-and-mortar bookstores. The place is probably best known for its readings — it hosted Barack Obama when he was just an obscure memoirist, back in 1995. Nowadays there's a whole shelf of Obamanalia, plus books and DVDs on just about anything else dealing with the black experience. If they don't have it in stock, they'll order it for you. Just don't go there to look for titles that you plan to buy cheaper on Amazon — the owners will call you out. 4327 Degnan Blvd., Leimert Park. (323) 290-1048, —Gene Maddaus

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