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The End of the Endless Bookstore?

I was in the symbolic space of what was once Brand Books last night in my dreams but instead of it leading to the Endless Bookstore - a place I've visted in separate dreams over the years, truly wondrous, rambling, impossible and filled with books, antiques, and more - I couldn't get beyond the parts of it that had been cleared out.  This is the first time I've had my dream mind acknowledge that the place is indeed gone in real life, though it is not gone in my own mind.  I haven't even approached the front of the space where it used to be yet but even when I do, nothing will replace that storefront in my mind.

There was a bit left over, some shelves, some odds and ends, but the store was bare.  I raised a curtain to look into the back area and though there were some antiques there and some titanic rugs, there were hardly any books.  I know I cried at intervals and was explaining to friends of friends that I'd basically grown up in that bookstore.

We'd had to get there on a particular bus, like it was very far away (strangely, it seemed to be close to if not on top of Forest Lawn cemetery, of all places).  The bus back was a hoverbus with a driver I didn't know, and it was raining.  I was a little uncomfortable at first but he got us back down from the hill (so yes, my mind put it at the top of the hill where the great museum is in Forest Lawn).  I apparently had already scooped up what memorabilia I could on a previous visit, but after I got back home, a guy from the store came to reclaim a lamp I'd been allowed to take; turns out, it was a real antique piece and they needed it.

I dearly hope that this isn't the end of the endless bookstore, even if it's the end of Brand Books in some part of my subconscious mind.  The dreams in which I'd found passageways into a grander space with wild arrangements of books and increasingly more interesting people and the sense that you could find almost anything there - I have never wanted them to end.  And there will always be a cozy, warm place in my heart for that bookstore, and its owner and his son who ran it so well for so many years.


erome Joseph, the face of Brand Books and bookstores for me forever, and his son and regular fixture at Brand, Noriaki Nakano.


And another cute one I found with them:


The front windows were like the rocks that sirens sang from. Just when you thought you'd find only drivel in them, something would catch your eye and make you stop and then you'd find something else...


The front entry was always a passageway with a cool breeze.


This was the open archway to the left of the entrance, past the register and its counters. It led to hardcover books, the records display you can see starting there, as well as bios, plays, literature from other countries, erotica, travel, and other things besides.


Just seeing one of their old markers makes me glad this morning.


I tried to take some pictures on my last visit but I was so upset that they were uniformly blurry. Still, I want to share a place in my psyche with you as best I can, and I found these pictures.

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