Noriaki Nakano, who manages the Brand Boulevard staple with his father, Jerome Joseph, announced several months ago that they both plan on retiring. But the closing date was pushed back because there are still thousands of books on the tall shelves, most adorned with yellow cards bearing the names of a vast expanse of topics. “We have 1,200 to 1,500 categories,” said Nakano….. Joseph, now 86, opened the bookstore in 1985 after he was inspired by the now-defunct Crown Bookstore down the street, Nakano said. Joseph teamed up with partner Larry Mullen and opened Brand Bookshop at the storefront previously occupied by Brand Jewelry.
John McCormick’s op-ed in the Los Angeles Times mourns the passing of Brand Bookstore but says don’t count out the city’s other indie booksellers.
So I’m sorry to report that Brand Bookshop in Glendale, opposite the Alex Theatre on Brand Boulevard, is closing its doors this fall after 29 years in business. Its proprietor, Jerome Joseph, and his adopted son, Noriaki Nakano, created one of the true gems of the Los Angeles bookstore scene. Huge (100,000 books), clean, well-ordered, open 12 hours a day, staffed by bibliophiles, classical music playing on the sound system, Brand Bookshop was the Los Angeles used bookstore at its best. It had an usually deep collection. At one time it had the largest selection of books on bullfighting I’d ever seen. But that said, Joseph is in his 80s, has had health problems and can no longer commute from his home in Mt. Washington, and so, by the end of September, the store will be no more. And Los Angeles will lose another great independent bookstore.
Will Brand Bookshop be missed? Sorely. Is the independent bookstore in Los Angeles finally going the way of all flesh? Not so fast.