It's an Eagle Rock gem. All alphabetical orderliness and proper genre filing makes Read an easy place to find what you're looking for. But aside from its insanely organized shelves, it also offers a smalltown coziness that larger, independent stores lack. The storefront is modest, housed next to an ever-rotating selection of boutiques and dress shops. Prices range from the ridiculously cheap three bucks for a paperback version of James Baldwin's Notes of a Native Son to the slightly pricier $12 for a beautiful, bound copy of Kenneth Anger's Hollywood Babylon (still a great deal). The kicker, though, is the magnificent magazine stand, which carries everything from Mother Jones, Dazed & Confused, the New Yorker and Artforum to the Fader and all that lies between. Rare is a used bookstore that understands that used-book lovers aren't hoarders and cat collectors, but rather lovers of pop culture and refined culture. Read is the absolute best little place to lose an afternoon and emerge delighted and excited with a handful of treasures. 4972 Eagle Rock Blvd., Eagle Rock. (323) 259-9068,

—Nikki Darling

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