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Ex-Employee Writes About Life at Cosmopolitan Book Shop

Longtime Employee Arnold Herr Pens a Hilarious Montage of Cosmopolitan


by Paul Hunt

It had to happen, and happen now.  You just knew that somebody would eventually write about the biblio madness, the highs, the lows, the weirdness of selling books in Hollywood. But why now?  The easy answer is that most of the old time employees of Cosmopolitan Book Shop are dead.  They are now up in that book shop in the sky, running to imaginary library sales, rooting through the wispy fog of estates, chatting it up with our dearly departed leader Eli Goodman, who has traded in his baggy pants held up by a piece of string for a beautiful white robe.  Which leads to the eternal question, most on everyone’s mind:  Is there book dust in heaven?  Have any silverfish found there way up there?  Are books piled up everywhere in gleaming palaces?  We will all be disappointed soon enough, so why rub it in now?

So the last man standing, Mr. Arnold Herr, has penned his memoirs.  Eli Goodman, the subject of the memoirs as a fictional character named Mickey Tsimmis, sent me a message via a small capsule attached to a white dove that landed on my van this morning, where I am temporarily residing.  I carefully unrolled the fragile little piece of paper and read it.  “Please tell Arnold that I should get 10 percent of the sales, since without me there would be no book.  –Eli.  And ask him why in hell did he throw away the big bag of rubber bands I had behind the counter to wrap up the customers books?”

Here’s a quote from Paul Hunt at

“If you’ve ever wondered what really goes on behind the scenes in a creaky, dusty bookshop crammed to the rafters with books, and run by Los Angeles’ number one champion tightwad, catering to an assortment of university professors, literary high steppers, book collectors, and the sweepings of Hollywood crackpots, then here it is. Arnold’s story is bold, screamingly hilarious. His pen pops with laughter. If you don’t get the hoot of your life reading this, then please check into the morgue immediately, ’cause you’re part of the walking dead.”

You can order this book from the publisher Poltroon Press (click here)

Cosmopolitan Bookshop Now Closed

The Oldest Bookshop Left in Hollywood is Now Gone – Driven Out by High Rent

Please Check Out Historical Information, Photos of the Shop, an Obituary of Eli Goodman and Much More at:

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Monster End of Life Sale!

I’m 91 Years Old – Please Help Me!  Take My Wonderful Books For Pennies on the Dollar!

Aug 2013 007 Photo of Eli GoodmanI’ve spent over 50 years accumulating these books, but now it is time to let go!  I cannot stay at this location, and all these books must go.  I can’t stuff 15 or 20 thousand books into my room, which is just big enough for my bed and an old TV.  So here’s the deal:


6 FOR $10






7017 Melrose Ave.

Hollywood, CA

Open Everyday 11am – 6pm


Big Store-wide Sale


OR 3 FOR $10


Biggest Sale Ever!

Biggest Sale Ever!

This is the biggest sale we have ever had.  Go ahead, ask me for the reason.  I’m 91 years old for heaven’s sake.  I don’t need a reason. I have to face facts.  How long am I going to be around?  So I have to start getting rid of some of this inventory.  At $3.99, believe me, there’s a lot of bargains here.  This goes for every hard cover book in the shop, all the art books, the coffee-table books, the old books, all of it.  I have to move some of it out, to make room for batches we are schlepping in from the warehouse, which we are doing every day. (Well, I’m not doing it, but my “boys”, the “youngsters” who are only in their 70’s are doing the lifting.  I’m not supposed to lift anything heavier than a taco.)

How long is this sale going to last?  I’m not sure, better get in here before I change my mind.  And by the way, a lot of the books are even less than $3.99.  Plus hundreds of paperbacks, also discounted at least 50%.

50% Off All Books!

Hollywood’s Oldest Used Book Store is Having a Big Sale!

Aug 2013 007 Photo of Eli GoodmanCosmopolitan Books Shop has been around for over 50 years.  The owner, Eli Goodman, just celebrated his 90th birthday.  And although it is against his nature, he decided it was time to clear out some stock and make room for all the books that he has been hoarding for decades.  After all, if not NOW, then WHEN?  He was hoping to wait until he was 150 years old, but upon deep reflection, spurred on by falling off a ladder, he decided that now might be a great time to move ’em out and then load the new ones in – all at 50% off the marked price.  And whoa – some of the books were priced 20 years ago!  There’s a lot of bargains here.  Imagine buying good quality used books for $2.50, $3.00, $4.00, and yes, a lot of them for a buck.

Open everyday from 11 a.m. until 6 p.m.

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7017 Melrose Avenue, just east of

La Brea

Hollywood, California 90038