Park & Read

As an east coast city dweller, I don't usually connect the term "drive-by" with books. But apparently out in Hollywood they're working to remedy that, one garage door at a time.


The L.A. Times' Barbara Thornburg recently discovered a wonderful trompe l'oeil bookshelf mural on Mulholland Highway. It turns out the garage in question belongs to Lee Dembart, a book lover and journalist who has reviewed for, among others, the L.A. Times. It shows a sampling of his collection, a pleasingly familiar assortment of books and memorabilia that could belong to any one of us — that is, if any one of us had a monster-movie revolving wall in our home and could suddenly spin the living room out to face the driveway. It's warm and welcoming, and I can't help picturing Dembart having to shoo away nosy title readers when he needs to use his car.


(The Kansas City Central Library's parking garage, on the other hand, doesn't have that problem.)

"Maybe painting your passion on your garage door will start a trend," Thornburg says, and she has a point. Though I'm going to have to wait for the neighborhood teenagers to stop painting their passions on mine before I take her up on it.


9 Comments to Park & Read

  1. Karen Wall's Gravatar Karen Wall
    September 23, 2009 at 5:13 pm | Permalink

    The only title I could read on Mr. Dembart’s door was The Puzzle Palace? Anyone? This always drives me crazy. You know on television, when they’re interviewing someone interesting in front of bookshelves and you can’t pay attention because you’re trying to figure out the titles.

  2. Kat Warren's Gravatar Kat Warren
    September 23, 2009 at 7:08 pm | Permalink

    Wow, can you imagine the meetings at the Kansas City PL to decide which books to feature? I’m betting blood was shed.

  3. September 23, 2009 at 7:19 pm | Permalink

    Well, here’s three — a “World Almanac”, “Bonfire of the Vanities” (Tom Wolfe), and something that looks like “Physics and Mathematics” (but I can’t find a corresponding image on Amazon or ABE).

  4. September 23, 2009 at 7:24 pm | Permalink

    The KCPL has done this right (unsurprisingly! go librarians!). So, here’s a page with all the succulent details about the book wall, called the “Community Bookshelf”.

  5. Karen Wall's Gravatar Karen Wall
    September 24, 2009 at 9:45 am | Permalink

    And coincentally, I’m reading Mrs. Bridge right now.

  6. Margarita's Gravatar Margarita
    September 24, 2009 at 11:08 pm | Permalink

    This may be completely off the mark, but I was passing by an open garage door in our common neighbourhood in the Bronx and had to stop and look – both side walls were top to bottom bookshelves – I just hope they were not automotive-related :); maybe it’s time to make a library garage and get those teenagers to learn the cataloguing system. And … maybe for once, the Bronx is starting the trend….

  7. September 25, 2009 at 2:32 am | Permalink

    Kansas City just made my Must Visit list; that garage is stunning.

  8. September 25, 2009 at 12:18 pm | Permalink

    I’m with you, Debi. This whole post is inspiring–I’m having fantasies of painting the doors to my kitchen cabinets!

  9. September 26, 2009 at 9:19 am | Permalink

    Too cool.

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