You don't have to be a voracious reader, or writer, in Los Angeles to be familiar with the work of Glenn Goldman, who died this weekend at the age of 58.
The owner and founder of Book Soup, Goldman built a beacon that has shined on Sunset Boulevard since 1975, right across from that iconic Tower Records store, the one that closed last year, along with every other Tower Records.
That Goldman's store succeeded is itself an accomplishment, let alone that it did so in the most unlikely of environments for a bookseller, on the Sunset Strip, a location flanked by sky-high billboards, liquor stores and nightclubs like the Whisky a Go Go and The Viper Room.
As many of LA's great independent bookstores were shuttered in the past decade, Book Soup somehow avoided their fates. Sad as it was to lose Acres of Books, Dutton's Brentwood Books and Midnight Special, at least we still had Book Soup.
Less than a month ago, I wrote here about actress/author Carrie Fisher's presentation of her memoir "Wishful Drinking" at Book Soup, one of many big names that have been hosted, and toasted, at that store.
But with the tragic loss of Goldman, news also came that Book Soup is up for sale.
Many others besides yours truly are reflecting on the bookstore, and on Goldman's life. Here's a sample:
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Nikki Finke's Deadline Hollywood Daily called upon Hollywood to "make sure this showbiz treasure stays open and financially sound."
The LA Times' blog Jacket Copy says Goldman was "a charming gentleman: shy, smart, exceedingly well-read and committed to reading and bookselling and the literary life.
LA Observed says "he set the tone, both intellectually -- the store reflected his tastes and interests, in art and film and fiction -- and in terms of personality."
The Elegant Variation's Mark Sarvas offers this anecdote: "We were sitting at opposite ends of the long table, and I didn't get as much time to talk to him as I'd hoped, but I was flattered he made the time, and I shared Doug Dutton's impression that 'He was a man of strong tastes and not shy about voicing his opinions.'"
Thompson on Hollywood at Variety says the "last time I spoke to Goldman, he told me business had gotten much tougher."