A Change of Hobbit Bookstore, 1974

Hobbit 1974

A Change of Hobbit, the dream-child of Sherry Gottlieb, opened as an unadvertised, 12-by-15-foot book closet above a coin laundry in Westwood Village in 1972, and closed in 1991 as probably “the largest and oldest science fiction bookshop in the world“—chased out of town by soaring rent and the big book chains. Seen in the postcard above is Hobbit’s second location (there were four in all) on Westwood Boulevard. Gottlieb, the Sylvia Beach of speculative fiction, tells her extraordinary story here.

Years ago I lived in Westwood, and at least once a week I would walk to the Domino’s Pizza on Westwood Blvd., order a small pepperoni, and walk across the street to browse the stacks at Border’s until I was ready to pick up the pizza. The “stacks” were decidedly neat and corporate, but it was the only book store within walking distance, and I am and always will be a book (front cover, back cover, printed paper in between) hound. That Domino’s Pizza (below) sits at the exact same address as A Change of Hobbit as seen in the postcard. I had no idea until I saw the photo.

Now all the bookstores are gone, and some people in high places seriously believe in an eyeless, mindless beast named post-literacy. Have a nice day.


(Postcard image via Jordan Smith/Flickr)

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