Sometimes what makes a great bookstore isn't a massive selection, but an owner who surprises you by indulging his own eccentric tastes in art, literature, and politics. Family Bookstore is that kind of bookstore. When I came here they had copies of Laszlo Krasznahorkai's "Satantango," Roberto Bolaño's "The Secret of Evil," and a book on Nan Goldin's photography. They also carry records, films, zines and self-published art-comics. There is a gallery space in the back for local artists exhibitions.
It's all in the alt-reading family at this Fairfax bookshop that brims with independent spirit. – Pop culture savants, neo-beatniks and posers looking to add some street cred to their coffee table peruse the rows of neatly stacked books at this well-stocked shop located in the middle of--where else?--Fairfax Village. Exposed brick walls, scarred wood shelves and canary yellow pendant lamps set the scene for the surfeit of small-press gems including poetry, plays, zines, underground comics and alternative classics like Werner Herzog essays, Luis Bunuel novels and, of course, loads of Bukowski. Original works of art from indie cartoonists, local artists and friends of the store appear in the form of splashy posters and flourescent postcards, while a small smattering of CDs and locally designed T-shirts beckon for attention. Although opened in 2006, the store is still relatively unknown. But given its underground sensibility, maybe that's not such a bad thing.