Rare finds at the Iliad Bookstore in North Hollywood

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carole rosner90BY CAROLE ROSNER

Dan Weinstein, owner of The Iliad Bookstore in North Hollywood, grew up with some of the most famous authors in the world. Although he didn’t get drunk with F. Scott Fitzgerald or have high tea with Jane Austen, he might consider these authors some of his oldest friends. This is because Dan’s relatives used to own a dozen independent bookstores in L.A. (including Hollywood Book City, Valley Book City and Heritage Book Shop) and he started helping out in these stores when he was just 14 years old. “Books worked for my family and they work for me,” said Weinstein.

Iliad owner Dan Weinstein.

Iliad owner Dan Weinstein. Photos: Carole Rosner

Although the Weinstein family bookstores are now closed, The Iliad Bookstore remains as rare a find in L.A. as the books lining its nooks. Opened in 1987, and in its present location on Cahuenga Blvd. for three-and-a-half years, The Iliad is a place to get lost in. With over 5000 square feet and 100,000 books for sale (and 20,000 more in storage), there is something for everyone. There are numerous subject headings covering a variety of topics including Art, Cinema, Biography, Horror and History. The literature selection is so large it fills half of the store.

The JD Salinger manuscript is on sale for $10,000.

The J.D. Salinger manuscript is on sale for $10,000.

The Iliad does sell popular books (i.e. the Twilight and Harry Potter series) and new books, however the majority of their selection is “gently used”– with prices that are hard to beat. There is also a wonderful selection of collectors’ edition books complete with leather binding, hand marbled paper and gold trim. The oldest book currently on sale was written in French and Latin and printed in 1750. The Iliad also carries signed copies of books from famous authors including Ernest Hemingway, Mark Twain, Jack London and Edgar Rice Burroughs; and they have a leather bound manuscript handwritten by JD Salinger from 1959.

A signed copy of the Green Hills of Africa by Ernest Hemingway is for sale - $9,500.

A signed copy of the "Green Hills of Africa" by Ernest Hemingway can be had for $9,500.

“The Iliad is by far the best bookstore that I’ve ever been in, and I was literally singing at the top of my lungs as I left the building. The staff is friendly, educated and willing to help out with anything and everything, which makes searching through the myriad of books doubly exciting,” said customer Margo Heston.

The Iliad in North Hollywood.

The Iliad in North Hollywood.

Because Weinstein is a huge collector of pop-up books (he personally has over 1000 of them), The Iliad stocks some of the best. There is Robert Sabuda’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland complete with a pop-up deck of cards and Bam Citadel, a book that recreates ancient Persian architecture with “paper engineered” laser cuts. I am a big pop-up book fan too and The Iliad carries one of the most fun and unique pop-up books I have found—Birdscapes by Miyoko Chu, with pop-up bird “environments” complete with stereo bird songs on every page.

Birdscapes by Miyoko Chu, with pop-up bird “environments” complete with stereo bird songs on every page.

"Birdscapes" by Miyoko Chu, with pop-up bird environments complete with stereo bird songs on every page.

If you have old books to sell, looking for that long lost favorite or just feel like hanging out, once you walk through the doors of The Iliad, it’ll be hard to leave.

The Iliad Bookstore www.iliadbooks.com 5400 Cahuenga Boulevard North Hollywood, CA 91601 (818) 509-2665 Hours: 10am-10pm Mon-Sat. Sunday: 12pm-6pm Metered parking on street, free in back lot.

The oldest book at The Iliad is a French volume from 1750.

The oldest book at The Iliad is a French volume published in 1750.

Carole Rosner is a native Valley Girl who has lived in Studio City for the past 11 years. She is a strong supporter of her local public schools and an active volunteer in her neighborhood. Some of her favorite things to do in Studio City are to celebrate 4th of July at CBS Radford, walk along Ventura Blvd. and browse through the racks at Crossroads Trading Company.

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About Karen Young

Karen Young is the founder of My Daily Find.

  • LIsa H.

    What a great place! I had no idea that there was anything like this since our local Dutton’s closed its doors. Thanks Carole!

  • kathy

    Thank you for this information. I have passed by this place several times. I will definitely stop by sometime soon.

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