It always saddens me when independent bookstores get chewed up and spit out by the likes of Barnes & Noble and Borders. It’s even worse when it is a travel bookstore.
Yesterday at lunch I headed over to my favorite such establishment only to find a “Going Out of Business” banner hanging from the front of it. California Map & Travel Center in Santa Monica has been my source for obscure travel books for many years now. I visited yesterday to pick up an Albanian travel book that no other bookstore in Los Angeles seemed to carry.
But its not just books that made this store so great. It also carried a large selection of globes and a truly outstanding selection of maps. I don’t know of anywhere else I could pick up a topo map of the Sierra Nevadas, a street map of Gdansk, and an upside-down map of the Australian continent all under one roof.
This store will sorely be missed and we travelers will be all the poorer as a result. In the meantime, EVERTHING is 20% off until May 31 when they officially close. Swing by if you’re in the LA area and help pick clean the carcass.