8826 Sunset Boulevard
West Hollywood, CA 90069
Belated Update May 20, 2017
Once again our only excuse for not updating our blog is two-fold: brisk, time-consuming, ongoing business (for which Harvey and I remain perpetually grateful) and travel — this time to Japan and Vietnam — but now we’re back, filled with energy (as well as many dozens of rare and highly collectible First Editions) and rarin’ to go.
Mystery Pier is featured in a terrific article by Lesley M.M. Blume in tomorrow’s (May 21, ’17) Sunday New York TIMES in their T Magazine. It’s a really nice piece and we’re very appreciative. The shop is also listed in the Louis Vuitton Guidebook and was featured in Barney’s Window in Manhattan. And……we just found out from some visiting customers who came in resultant from reading about the shop in the website of bestselling author Michael Connelly.
It’s all good………….
Long Overdue Update
Hello — Thanks for coming here, and our apologies for taking so long to provide any kind of updates. The only excuse — but one we’re certainly grateful for – is that business has been active, ongoing, but of necessity time-consuming. The Oscar season, and the Awards season in general, has been kind to us as ever — and its an encouraging sociological fact that studios, agents, managers and the talent themselves are giving as gifts collectible and meaningful literature rather than cases of Crystal or Dom Perignon champagne.
We bring new highly collectible offerings into the shop from our storage facility on a regular basis, and please remember that EVERY SINGLE BOOK in the shop – EVERY ONE — is a true First Edition, First Printing. We’ve just brought in some more terrific signed Hemingway…… signed Hunter Thompson…. signed Nabokov — even signed Dr. Seuss and Roald Dahl — and the true First Edition of Eva Peron’s autobiography SIGNED BY EVITA HERSELF, EVA PERON.
Plus — as we invariably do during and after the Awards season — we have original shooting scripts signed by the Oscar-winning talent. LA LA LAND is here, signed by writer/director Damien Chazelle, composer Justin Hurwitz, Emma Stone, Ryan Gosling & J.K. Simmons; we’ve got FENCES signed by Denzel Washington and Viola Davis; also MISS SLOANE signed by Jessica Chastain….. and many many others.
Please do come and visit. It’s a constant joy for us to share the pleasures on the shelves and in the showcases here and, as we always offer, private appointments at any times that are convenient for you.
We look forward to your visits and thank you for your constant support of Mystery Pier Books.
Virgin-Atlantic Underground LA: Exploring the city’s hidden haunts 4-4-16
Underground LA: Exploring the city’s hidden haunts by EllaBuchan The glitz, gloss and glamour of Hollywood is all very well, but to find the real Los Angeles you have to scratch beneath the surface, open unmarked doors and wander down unassuming alleyways. From hidden boozers to secret rooftop gardens and a network of tunnels used during Prohibition, here’s how to see underground LA.
Duck down a stone staircase off Sunset Strip and wind down a dimly lit passage to reach this charming cottage framed by blooms. This literary treasure trove is famed for its range of first editions and antiquarian books, counting Johnny Depp, Daniel Craig and Martin Scorcese among its customers.
Here’s the link for Eye On LA which stared Mystery Pier Books.
Louis Vuitton Recommends
The new Louis Vuitton City Guide of recommended elite ‘Must Sees’ is now out — and once again Mystery Pier Books has been selected for inclusion. Here’s their article: “On paper, Mystery Pier Boioks is right next door to the Book Soup shop. When you get there, the reality is quite different, as it’s deliberately hidden from the street. You reach it down a narrow passage that leads to a garden with a tiny cottage at the bottom, surrounded by flowerbeds. Fireplace, houseplants, old furniture: it feels like the home of an elderly relative. Louis and Harvey Jason are far from being ancient, however. Passionate collectors, they have filled their wooden bookshelves and glass-fronted cases with hundreds of first editions and original editions of books adapted for the cinema, along with signed copies that are priceless for an aficionado, such as “The Talented Mr. Ripley” by Patricia Highsmith signed by the late Anthony Minghella, “In Cold Blood” by Truman Capote signed by the author, and “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas” signed by the author Hunter S. Thompson and by Johnny Depp. The Jasons also have a large number of original scripts annotated, including “Being John Malkovich” by Charlie Kaufman signed by Malkovich himself. No point mentioning that you’ll spot more (incognito) stars here than at the Oscars.”
NOT HEALTHY TO MAKE ASSUMPTIONS
Interview by Scott Laming
If you were a famous Hollywood star looking for a sophisticated gift or, as is more likely for the majority of us, perhaps you happended to be a serious book lover in the LA area, you would eventually find your way to Mystery Pier Books.
Turn off Sunset Boulevard onto a stone path, through blooming flowers, to a charming English cottage that houses father and son bookselling team Harvey and Louis Jason. Booklovers and collectors from birth, they opened their shop and started selling on Augusy 9, 1998. The pair specialize in collectible antiquarian classics, modern firsts (with many signed or inscribed by authors or actors from film interpretations), American and British literature, Books Into Film, Mysteries and the best of True Crime.
Due to the shop’s location and extraordinary collection of modern and signed first editions, Mystery Pier quickly became extremely popular in the glamorous world of motion pictures, TV and music, having sold books to the likes of Bono, Johnny Depp, Oprah, Michael Caine, Jude Law and Julia Roberts and dozens more international celebrities. Literary figures too have graced their doorstep, and now signed photos are on display in evidence of this: Kurt Vonnegut, Nelson DeMille, and Harper Lee are the tip of the iceberg. Louis made a habit of collecting doodles from these frequent visitors and has since published a coffee table book, Louis M. Jason’s Literary Celebrity Doodles, which contains the author’s artwork as well as information about the authors themselves.
With all of these celebrity sightings came a wash of publicity. TV and radio stations, national papers and magazines ran features on the shop, which in turn lead to more opportunities. Mystery Pier has since been asked to build personal libraries for LA’s elite, to find and purchase investment literature (such as important firsts for which prices will rapidly inflate – in seven years The Catcher in the Rye, appreciated from $6,500 for a Fine copy in dust jacket to over $12,000 and often more) and has been contacted to sell books as gifts for winners at the Academy Awards, Golden Globes, and other awards.
When asked to recall a favorite bookselling moment Harvey recounts a story of one very memorable visitor to the shop. “The shop bell tinkled alerting us to a visitor. I went to the door to see an elderly woman standing at the entrance; at first impression, she was obviously destitute, perhaps homeless. Carrying two shopping bags filled to the brims with used soda cans, she stood in the doorway gazing inside the shop through the thick lenses of her glasses. Her hair was long and totally disheveled. Her crumpled, torn blouse and much stained, overshirt were covered with dirt. The woman glanced at the titles in the cases with slow admiration and then asked ‘Do you have any Charles Dickens first editions?’ The question absolutely surprised me but I answered that we had three and offered to show her our copy of Nicholas Nickleby. The woman was delighted, it was as if I’d handed her the Holy Grail. While she leafed through the book I walked out to the cash register to give this poor homeless woman a couple of dollars. Her voice turned me around. ‘Well,’ she said, ‘I’ll take these three.’ I turned toward him she was handing me an American Express Centurion card, the ultra-select black one. This woman has since become a faithful and regular client.”
As it turned out the woman lived in a palatial home in Bel Air and had just been tending her garden (hence the dirt and tattered clothes), and saw Mystery Pier’s sign on her way to her hairdressers (hence the messy hair). The soda cans, which were bound for the recycling center, were her last errand of the day but she was worried about leaving the bags of cans in her un-attended Rolls Royce Corniche convertible.
The woman has since been back several times and has become a regular client. The lesson from Harvey Jason. Don’t judge a book by its cover!
Chevy Trax with famed tattooist Luke Wessman and starring us.