Good Girls Don't Say Things Like That...

... but I do.

Victoria Carlson

Victoria Carlson
Burbank/Toluca Lake, California, USA
June 09
L.A. native. Single mother. Writer. Dog whisperer. Gemini. Crossword geek. Recovering Catholic. Novice Buddhist. Multi-tasker. Jedi Master. Currently working on a collection of short stories based upon personal experiences. Recent contributor to the L.A. Times and featured on


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Editor’s Pick
DECEMBER 1, 2011 12:11PM

The Odyssey of The Iliad

Rate: 8 Flag


One by one, they fell-- the independent bookstore. One by one, they closed-- the mall bookstore. Fare thee well, B. Dalton. It was great while it lasted, Waldens. Then, like Goliath being felled by David, big literary superstores, such as Borders, began shuttering their doors. Pushed out by ever-increasing rents, some. Others, victims of Amazon’s online bookstore and their high-tech Kindle.

I say, electronic reading media be damned.

Nothing ever feels more satisfying to me than the weight of a book in my hands and the aroma of a good independent bookstore. Whenever I am in need of something to read, I head over to the Iliad Bookshop in North Hollywood, California.


The Iliad reminds me somewhat of Olivander’s wand shop, with its ladders and step stools in every aisle to access the hard to reach shelves. It’s a bit dusty and the floors are creaky and the sofas are worn. It’s a cozy haven on a rainy afternoon and a quiet respite from the minutiae of a busy day.

This past year, the Iliad broke through the neighboring wall and doubled in size. Their shelves are steeped in history, art, photography, theatre, classic literature and pulpy paperback galore. It’s a biography lover’s dream, a collector’s Mecca. It’s the kind of place where sci-fi and graphic novel fans can while away hours. If you’re lucky, you may happen upon a signed first edition by Nick Hornby or Alice Walker. Time to replace that worn copy of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince? You’ll find it at the Iliad. Don’t seem to have what you’re looking for? Just ask Dan or Lisa. Your Iliad hosts are more than willing to oblige.

Best of all, is the two dollar wall; hardcover fiction heaven from A to Z. Up front, the two dollar table is piled high with non-fiction, and if you’re willing to dig around a bit, you never know what you may discover. And for the avid reader, for whom spending a buck or two is quite a stretch these days, they are more than welcome to riffle through one of the boxes of freebies just outside the front door. You really can’t get much better than the Iliad.

Just ask Zola, the Iliad's cat in residence.




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Gotta love a bookstore with its own cat in residence. Very nice post. ~r
what the hell, woman?
how did u get an ep AND a cover?
it must be the f-ing cat.

o congrats, grudgingly. u=the next alysa salzberg.
good writer on the cover. also a cute gal.

Time to replace that worn copy of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince?

uh yeah, right.

ask for it, u say? ok,, i want
1.hubert benoit, 'light of zen in the west
2.hegel, 'science of logic'
3. any whitehead. 'modes of thought ' would be nice.
4. dylan 'tarantula'
5.uh, i dunno, oh yeah i do: all of emerson for less than $45

ha. cannot do it i shall bet.
anyway, rest on yer laurels.

damn bigshot woman probly won't have nothin to do
with such as me,
a voice in the wilderness,

or art james, either.

the hat probably cinched the ep. you wear it well.
I like my small town Indie book store and try to buy often from them. does the cat sleep on news print in summer time? cheers
Oh, this sounds like such a wonderful place! I want to go there!!!
'@impish James - There can be only one Alysa Salzberg...and that's probably a good thing. Victoria's a talented writer AND a single mom - much harder working and giving than me!
Good post, Victoria.

I guess we all have our favorite bookstore. Mine is in a mall just outside Princeton...a discount bookstore (which I like better than one of the biggies). Gotta hope it never goes out of business! But with the terrific science-fiction section it has, I doubt it ever will.

Iliad looks like my kinda place...and Zola like my kinda cat.
RATED as one of the TOP TEN BEST titles of a post, ever, on OS.
Nice one and the cat in the bookstore. Now that should be made into a documentary.
This is wonderful and important. I would be a liar if I said I absolutely do not love everything about books including chains of bookstores, my friend on the telephone at the LOC when the plane hit the Pentagon, what was that noise ? my own disarray of forgotten instructional manuals, people walking and reading kindles, nooks, finding romance novels in jail cells, French literature in abandoned storage lockers, NPR reading from books, criticism of books. Free speech. Research. Truth.
Passion. Love. Unrequited love. Life. My collection of Harpers. Even Walgreens sells books. Newspapers. Have we forgotten newspapers?!
Plant trees.
Thank you, Ms. Carlson.
This was a terrific post. I am going to check this place out very soon. Thanks.
Nicely done, congrats on EP!