Saturday, January 03, 2009

Glenn Goldman of Book Soup

Sad news. Glenn Goldman, the owner of Book Soup on the Sunset Strip, has died. His death today from pancreatic cancer comes the day after he announced he was putting the legendary bookshop up for sale. Glenn opened the place in 1975. It was more than a literary oasis on the Strip across from Tower Records and the coolest bookstore in L.A.; it remains a center of cultural activity, packed with books of all genres, as good with the fiction as it is on the industry essentials and current events.

Book Soup was a major stop on the Tabloid Baby author tour nine years ago. Author Burt Kearns read and led the discussion in the Book Soup Annex that occupied the adjoining storefront and signed lots of books that filled the top shelf of Book Soup's essential entertainment section for months to come. His name was on the same marquee that bears the announcement this evening. Glenn was 58. He was a low key, quiet force. If you saw him around the place, you might not realize he was the pioneer and owner of one of the most famous indie bookshops in the nation (and famous in tabloid-- the Menendez brothers reportedly ordered books from the place from jail). Sad news for those who knew him; sad on a wider scale for those of us trying to keep independent bookstores alive.

(A friend says Glenn put the place up for sale "he knew he was dying" and wanted his two sons to have the windfall. Book Soup's general manager says in a statement: "Nobody here is looking for a new job. The store remains an extremely viable business, and the entire staff wants to carry on the legacy of Book Soup.")

Photo by Carolyn Kellogg

1 comment:

Carolyn said...

Hey there Tabloid - you forgot to give me photo credit. You grabbed my pic from here: http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/jacketcopy/2009/01/glenn-goldman-r.html