I haven’t done a bookstore tour in a really long time. I think I was still living in Brooklyn where small bookstores reign gloriously. But I went on vacation and did some road tripping recently and I have bookstores to report back!
Today we’re going to be heading to the West (best) Coast to check out The Last Bookstore in Downtown LA. If you’re not aware, The Last Bookstore is probably one of the most instagrammed bookstores. The reason: because this store is outfitted with artsy bookish displays for you and your friends to pose next to.
It’s considered California’s largest bookstore of new and used books. The name represents the sad departure of most independent bookstores across the nation. It’s probably the most apt name for anything. Thanks, Jeff Bezos.
However, it doesn’t seem like this bookstore will be going out of business any time soon (unless its patrons are more interested in taking photos with the books than buying them).
Like all good bookstores, this one offers more than just books. They also have a section of their store dedicated to local artists and a whole record section. It’s fun to browse books in a bookstore, but it’s also fun to browse records in a record shop. Why not have both?
There’s two floors of BOOKS each section carefully curated to include both newer editions and used editions. The ground floor has your basic general fiction and childrens’ book sections while the upper floors is divided up by genre. You have a mystery/thriller section, a whole room dedicated to Horror (which I didn’t go into because it made me nervous), and an entire room dedicated to all the freaking Science Fiction you can imagine.
Don’t forget to check out their incredible rare and vintage collection as well. While I couldn’t afford the $1400 first edition of Kurt Vonnegut’s Cat’s Cradle, you get a kick just looking at the books and dreaming that one day you can own all the first editions.
There was a seating area, which is a rare treat in bookstores nowadays but I couldn’t find a spot for me to sit down and read. Honestly, this place was poppin’ and even if I wanted to read in this bookstore, I would find the noise level to be a bit too high. But that’s okay, browse your books and then find yourself a great taco spot and enjoy the beautiful Los Angeles weather with your new reads.
Finally, check out this great video from The Last Bookstore’s homepage. It’s a beautiful look at the bookstore and if you’re a reader (which I’m going to say you are), you’ll appreciate the message and love Josh Spencer has for this place.
Can’t leave without a tote, though.