Working at Dutton’s

Marci Vogel got a lot out of her first job at Dutton’s Books in North Hollywood. She writes of it on the Los Angeles Times op-ed page:

In those days, I lived east, way east, over by Roscoe Boulevard and the In-N-Out Burger. I was beyond the pale, outside the district, going to a good public school under cover of a family friend’s address. I was out of Dutton’s league, especially with its favorable location at Laurel Canyon and Magnolia. “There’s no chance,” M. whispered as my pencil scrawled hopeless notes. “Dutton’s only hires family.”Several years later, I was just returned from a junior year in Ireland and in need of a summer job. My savvy collegiate peers had snagged internships in their fields, but I was an English major without a foreseeable future.

I donned the uniform of the moment — overalls and a T-shirt — and set out to the UCLA career center. Passing Dutton’s, I decided to stop and ask if they were hiring.

It was, perhaps, my first significant acceptance when they hired me on the spot. I was not family; I was simply a college kid who loved reading. I had entered the sanctuary, and they had not said no.

That first day I set to work organizing the used hardcovers. It wasn’t until almost 4 o’clock that I got up the nerve to ask if I could break for lunch. I worked at Dutton’s over the next several summers and Christmas breaks, all through that lonely time of my early 20s when life was waiting to make itself known…

Previously:
Dutton’s gets a sendoff
Dutton’s will be missed
Dutton’s Bookstore to close