Obituary Note: Glenn Goldman
Very sad news: Glenn Goldman, owner and founder of Book Soup, West Hollywood, Calif., died on Saturday. He was 58 and had pancreatic cancer. He has two sons, who are 16 and 10.
The store said in part, "At this tragic hour we remember Glenn's sense of humor, his generosity, and the sacrifices he made to bring books, his passion, to the people. Glenn was a man who lived life to its fullest and accomplished more in his 58 years than most people would in three lifetimes."
In a memorial on the paper's website, David Ulin, book editor of the Los Angeles Times, said that Goldman set Book Soup's "tone, both intellectually--the store reflected his tastes and interests, in art and film and fiction--and in terms of personality. The staff is among the nicest I've encountered: smart and a little bit shy also, enthusiastic about the books. And writers love to read there, even though the space can be a bit unwieldy, because they know that this is a place where they'll be treasured, where their work will be treated not as commodity but as art."
The Times obituary called the store "a Sunset Boulevard landmark known for its tall, teetering stacks and mazes of shelves crammed with titles that attracted entertainment and tourist industry clientele."
Goldman was a former president and board member of the Southern California Independent Booksellers Association and a board member of the American Booksellers Association. SCIBA executive director Jennifer Bigelow noted that "even after Glenn's official roles with the associations were over, he was still always there and always available and touched the lives and had relationships with dozens and dozens of booksellers across the country."
Bigelow added, "Every time I talked with him, I learned something new, whether it was about him or an author or a book. One of the best things was to be able to sit by him at presale dinners."
Years ago, Shelf Awareness had the pleasure of having a long, leisurely lunch--and thorough bookstore visit--with Goldman and kept up with him at conferences. He always struck us as a sharp, amusing, nice man who loved to share a laugh.
Founded in 1975, Book Soup remains an ongoing, healthy business under the direction of Adrian Newell of Warwick's Bookstore. The store had been put up for sale shortly before Goldman's death and remains for sale--with proceeds intended to go to Goldman's children.
A memorial service will be held at Hillside Memorial Park in Culver City at 1 p.m., this coming Sunday, January 11, and is open to the public. Details may be confirmed on Book Soup's website. In lieu of flowers, friends and colleagues may contribute to the Glenn Goldman Booksellers Scholarship Fund, which benefits the education and development of young booksellers worldwide. Information about the scholarship is on the Book Soup web site.
SCIBA also will collect online tributes and memories about Goldman and pass them on to the store and his family. Write to firstname.lastname@example.org. Book Soup has a Memorial Book in the store.