Posted by paulrivas on:
Left Coast Books is the most exciting cultural phenomenon to hit downtown Goleta since the Mercury Lounge, which happens to be next door.
As secondhand bookshops go, owner Simon Taylor's operation is matchless. The volumes are clean and displayed simply: no teetering piles of genre fiction smelling of cat pee. The front third of the space is currently devoted to an art installation by Shirley Tse, a 2009 Guggenheim Fellow, part of a rotating exhibit called "The Grand Hotel Abyss: Art in California during the Great Recession": no aspiring starving artists or trust fund drunks need apply. The back patio is huge: no more fear of having to compromise your principles by doing book signings at Border's.
As locations go, a culture merchant couldn't do much better than to set up shop beside the only cool bar in Santa Barbara, where discerning local minds go to talk about why there are no cool bookstores in Santa Barbara. How long until Left Coast is open for Friday happy hour?
And lest anyone think that this guy the Mercury regulars call Simon lucked into a cushy location beside the epicenter of the local arts scene, let's remember that he's been selling books online for eight years and that in fact it's he that's doing us a favor. (If only he had books in Spanish, to carry the torch for his associate and mine, the late, great Evelyn Sage.)
Assert your position at the cultural vanguard by buying a book the old-fashioned way before it becomes cool again.