The Last Bookstore, located in downtown LA, has the most character of any bookstore I have ever visited in my life. I stumbled upon The Last Bookstore while planning my trip to LA as an afterthought, an “if-I-have-time” sort of thing. I passed by it on my way to a coffee shop on the morning of my second day and considered going in, but was too coffee-obsessed to do so until after I had my morning cuppa Joe. It soon became further and further from my direction of travel, but I ended up having an hour or two to spare so I ventured back to Spring Street to check it out.
Bookstores inherently bring out the escapist inside me, especially when I am alone, and I could easily spend hours wandering through the shelves looking for a read. Navigating through shelves of different books is enough to keep me interested, but The Last Bookstore creates intrigue from the way the books are physically kept as well.
When you walk in, it appears to be your normal bookstore or library, with shelves labeled in sections, little knick knacks and journals to purchase, and tables of most “popular” items and such, but as soon as your eyes lift upwards, the bookstore comes to life.
So I ventured up the stairs to the second level, where I found original copies of science fiction novels from the 70s, with notes and scribbles from all their past users. They were selling for $1.50 and I highly regret not purchasing one. It would have made a great souvenir and a book to add to my queue.
Truly, the best way to describe the bookstore’s upper level is as a labyrinth. Books upon books, winding staircases and a maze of shelves keep you interested not only in the vast variety of books available here but also the way they are displayed.
As I made my way around the upper level, I found myself at this tunnel of books, and nearly ran into a movie shoot mid-scene. There were cameras everywhere on both levels, following a character as he ran through the bookshelves. I’m very curious what they were filming, and hope I didn’t disturb them…
I liked the view through this hole of books because it kind of gives it more perspective to just how many books this bookstore holds.
In addition to the labyrinth, the upper level contains small pop up shops and galleries containing art for sale. Something about local art and books made me feel like The Last Bookstore captures the artistic side of LA. Amidst a fast-paced, crowded, and somewhat dirty city, I really did find a beautiful gem!
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