By Shana LiVIGNI
Crescenta Valley resident Golam Chowdhury was born and raised in Bangladesh then moved to Tujunga in 1992. He spent the next 12 years working for the Radio Shack Corporation, eventually managing five of the local stores and ranked in the top 100 managers from around the country. He was successful as a business manager and was always fascinated by books. “About five years ago, I went to the Book Expo America in New York City. It was a big international show, and I found out that about 300,000 titles published every year were sent to a close-out section,” he recalled. “These books go to close out simply because the authors cannot get the money to market them. So when I came back, I got the idea to do an online bookstore called OnlyHelpfulBooks.com but I didn’t plan on opening a store then.”
Chowdhury then realized that the types of books he carried – mostly close-out, non-marketed, limited edition help books – would have to be seen by buyers because they were so unique in content. Even Googling would not necessarily show any of the diverse topics of these close-out books that weren’t available at major stores or websites. So he bought many of those books and opened up his dream bookstore at 3115 Foothill Blvd. in La Crescenta about nine months ago. However, things didn’t work out the way he had hoped.
“My number one mistake was location. There’s no foot traffic. Number two, I didn’t
have enough capitol for advertising so I have to find a cheaper place to rent and in the right location. If I don’t find a place right away, I will open a storage area and stay open about four hours a day until I find the right place. The website will still be up, but I’m going to have a new site online soon.”
The bookstore is an eclectic collection of helpful books on almost every topic for kids and adults and it also houses a variety of unique gifts.
Beginning Monday, Nov. 23, Only Helpful Books will be having its going-out-of business sale with deep discounts that will continue till the store closes sometime during the first week of December. The timing of the closure may end up being a boost for the store as holidays draw near and folks seek “imaginative, creative and useful reading material for the upcoming holidays.” It’s a bit tricky to find the bookstore since it is not visible from Foothill Boulevard (a big part of the location factor) and there is no sign on the street. It is located at 3115 Foothill Blvd., directly across from the OSH main parking entrance, and is set up high off the street.
Chowdhury has not given up on his dream to share what he considers the wealth of these basically unavailable books with people of all ages.