Look how pretty the streets of Los Angeles are!
I love the lights. Los Angeles is such an artistic city, there’s art every where you look. I really had no idea…although seeing as it’s such a huge city full of artists in film, music, and who knows what else, I really should have expected it.
So here’s a question. What are some things you always do when travelling?
One of the things I always love to do when I’m travelling is to poke my head into local bookstores. The smell of books, whether new or old, always has a way of making me feel at home. And I don’t think there’s ever been a bookstore that I didn’t like. But I have to say I was pretty excited to step into this particular independent bookstore in downtown LA.
The Last Bookstore is an amazing treasure house filled with a mind-blowing wide-range of books, eclectic vinyl records, and book related art around every corner.
The building itself, which was built in 1914 (in just 10 months!), was originally occupied by Citizens National Bank. In the early 1910s this location was in the heart of the financial district, which was referred to as the “Wall Street of the West.” Today this neighborhood is known as the Historic Core and is even listed on the National Register of Historic Places. I was really interested in learning about how this building evolved over time, and I could go on, but I’ll spare you!
It’s a really massive building though and The Last Bookstore occupies the ground floor and the mezzanine level, which is like a maze. There are books everywhere. I know, it’s a bookstore. But it’s not only on the shelves. It’s used as an art form on the walls, ceilings, and anywhere else you can imagine. I was so enthralled with this place.
You can pretty much forget about just stepping in here for a second to grab a book. Their choices are so deep and wide that it will take forever for you to choose (this was me). Or you’ll just end up walking out with a handful of books (this was my friend R).
But isn’t that how every bookstore should be? x
Here are some pictures:
453 S. Spring St., Ground Floor
Los Angeles, CA 90013
*Occasionally they are closed early for a wedding (!!!)
or a gorgeous pop-up dinner like this. Love love love.
8 thoughts on “The Last Bookstore in Los Angeles”
A wedding in a bookstore? I would get married just to have that experience! 😀
PS: I also visit bookstores wherever I am, and I like to walk around in residential areas to see where/how people live, but mostly I just … walk. No plan, no map, just walk.
PPS: When I read your headline, The Last Bookstore, my immediate response was nooooooo!
What a beautiful, beautiful bookstore! Definitely gonna go there the next time I'm in LA! And as Ru commented, what an amazing wedding venue. That would have been PERFECT for a bookworm like me!
I was tickled to death when I saw on the website an announcement that said “We will be closing at 6 p.m. on November 10th, for a wedding in the store!” I bet it was the best wedding ever! *swoon*
PS: No plan, just walk sounds just like you! I didn't have too much time on this trip to just randomly walk around…but next time!
Oh you definitely have to go there! I bet you would love it. I remember watching the Sex and the City movie (I know, roll eyes!) and when she decided to get married at the New York Library, I thought, what a great idea. Now I think I like this bookstore even better! 😀
Ru”s PPS was exactly my same response.
A good bookstore can offer the experience of a serendipitous chance discovery never to be equalled online.
I love those bottom-middle photos. Their sorting system is by color!
I see from a map that the bookstore is just a few blocks from Angel’s Flight. And about the same distance to the Bradbury Building. Did you stop by? Not to mention Little Tokyo?
As a native Angeleno it amazes me that the two terms Los Angeles and history put together do not always equal an oxymoron. Thanks for showing us this hidden corner.
“A good bookstore can offer the experience of a serendipitous chance discovery never to be equalled online.” – So true, Tall Gary, so true.
The whole mezzanine section was paperbacks and some were color-coordinated, which I loved, too. I do this with my books at home 😀
I didn't go to Little Tokyo this time. After the bookstore we walked over to Bogetta Louis for dinner! It was really delicious. But I'm curious now to learn about the other buildings in that area now, too!
I checked out Bottega Louie’s Thanksgiving menu. That Lobster Nage soup opens up a few questions. I mean, are they talking about this method when catching the lobster? Do they do this before opening, heating and serving? Do the waiters have a good aim? Actually, who said anything about waiters?
Oops. Menu here.