Shel Silverstein's The Giving Tree has been a literary constant, affecting generation after generation. Find a copy in the children's section at Skylight Books; it'll do you good.
And what about the tree? No fantasy here, it stands squarely in the middle of the independent bookstore, literally. And, the store like the tree, continually gives by offering a buying experience different to that of its commercial counterparts to its Los Angeles faithful.
Had Merriam-Webster's created a word that meant “extremely eclectic” it would easily describe Skylight Books. But since such word doesn't exist we shall just use … extremely eclectic. Nestled in the Los Feliz neighborhood, the store is surrounded by a House of Pies, vibrant French cuisine and dual theatres: a movie theatre (Los Feliz 3 Cinemas) and right next door a theatre that bares the same as its neighbor (Skylight Theatre).
The extreme does start and possibly ends with one relatively important thing: the selection – a parade of novels, self-helps and DIY's. From Burroughs to Bukowski and yes, tons of copies of Dan Brown's The Da Vinci Code . No one is left empty handed.
And if that hand does need a little bit of helping, staff picks, recommendations and reviews are littered around the store. Someone that wasn't sure if they should read The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay receives reassurance that yes, the book is great because one, it's a Pulitzer Prize winning novel and two, and maybe most importantly, it's because the Skylight Books staff know their books. Skylight Books didn't just get a Book Sense logo because they had the sense to sell books to people.
Such distinction is prided on the fact that the staff at Skylight Books know what they're doing. If asked by a mother what to get their hip eclectic young son/daughter for their birthday, one might expect the mother would be directed to the work of Jonathan Safran Foer, David Eggers or even Marisha Pessl, one of the hottest new literary figures in the world today.
Besides knowing their books, Skylight loves their authors. A wide array will hit the store in the months to follow. Pessl recently paid a visit to the store to do a reading from her debut novel Special Topics in Calamity Physics . As the Brian DePalma film The Black Dahlia is set to hit theatres this month, author James Ellroy will make an appearance. Former porn starlet now author Nina Hartley will also visit the store in support of her book Nina Hartley's Guide to Total Sex .
The tree gives and gives.
Skylight Books is open Mon-Sun 10 a.m.-10 p.m. For more information, call (323) 660-1175 or visit www.skylightbooks.com.