Longtime mainstay of the LOS ANGELES TIMES' book review section Susan Salter Reynolds wrote an article about the up-in-the-air status of West Hollywood independent bookstore Book Soup following the passing of owner Glenn Goldman: http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/la-et-book-soup27-2009jan27,0,4988908.story
And, true to longtime form, the TIMES seems to maintain a steadfast belief that the only independent bookstores in the city of Los Angeles are Book Soup and Los Feliz' Skylight Books (with some understandable mourning of the demise of Doug Dutton's Duttons Bookstores chain--particularly last year's closing of the flagship Duttons in Brentwood). Of course, some of that may be due to tireless self-promotion by Goldman and Skylight owner Kerry Slattery.
Here's a link to information about the independent store Chevalier's Books in Larchmont Village:
And here's a link to the site of Studio City's Portrait of a Bookstore (also housing the coffeeshop Aroma Cafe): http://www.portraitofabookstore.com/
One thing that Ms. Reynolds and I can agree on: Customers are more likely to receive personalized service at independent stores than at the faltering corporate competition.