Friday, July 6, 2007

Thank you, Charlie Munger

As an avid reader, I love seeing stories like this. Charles Munger, the founder of one of LA's most prestigious law firms (and, of course, Warren Buffett's partner in Berkshire Hathaway) owns property in Brentwood that he planned to convert to condos. Ho hum. But, so the story goes, the location is the home to Dutton's, perhaps LA's best independent bookstore.

In response to neighborhood opposition, Munger has changed his plans and will build retail instead. Of course, retail is hotter than residential right now. But, given the low rent Munger says he will charge the bookstore and the way the construction will proceed to minimize interfering with business, he is definitely not maximizing his profits. So I say thanks, Mr. Munger. It is refreshing
to see that there is more in the world than making a buck.

This quote from the LA Times story is so spot on: "'Bookstores are fragile,' he said. 'Jostle them slightly and they never reopen. The best thing is to make sure it never closes.'"