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Ellen Rose says Cook's Library had wonderful run

March 24, 2009 |  6:07 pm

Ellen Rose was producing TV commercials for a living when her daughter told her that she had enough cookbooks to start a library.

“And the light bulb actually went off over my head,” Rose recalled of the moment that sparked the idea to open a bookstore dedicated to cooks, epicures and culinary art lovers.

But after 20 years in business, The Cook’s Library bookstore is closing April 30, unable to weather stiff competition from the Internet and huge discount book outlets, Rose said.

With its brightly painted walls and sofa and chairs, the store on 3rd Street near La Cienega Boulevard has become a Westside institution. Restaurants from across the world have ordered selections from the bookstore, and customers have pored over the more than 6,000 titles.

The books include everything from Basque cuisine to cooking with chilies and tomatoes.

As Rose thumbed through the pages of her books on a recent afternoon, she said she had a wonderful time operating the business. “It’s just very sad,” she said. 

-- Robert J. Lopez