The Last Bookstore in Downtown LA.
(Editor’s Note: In this new ongoing series of posts, I am going to attempt to visit all 18 places featured in this BuzzFeed article & write about my experience at each destination. Kicking it off, is my awesome trip out to The Last Bookstore. I hope you enjoy & stay tuned! xo)
If you love bookstores, do I have a place for you. Last week I decided to head out to Downtown LA to check out their Little Tokyo district, enjoy a fantastic iced latte at Demitasse Coffee & venture out to The Last Bookstore, located in the heart of Downtown on Spring Street, not far from The Staples Center or Walt Disney Concert Hall & Music Center. This is any readers lover dream., a book-gasm is an under statement. If you don’t believe me, just check out some of the awards this converted loft has earned, like Best Bookstore in California, Best in the West, & so on.
Oddly, while I was indeed very impressed upon entrance, I didn’t think it was THAT massive; & I wondered where many of the photographs I have seen capturing this shop were located, as I didn’t see a resemblance on the bottom floor.
And, that, my friends, is the operative word! I only had just gotten a small sliver of what was to come on this “bottom floor”; sure, there were countless Theatre & Music books to be thumbed through, & many copies of The Portable Dorothy Parker available (I was so tempted; in their “New Arrivals” section, a used copy of one of my most favorite works of prose & verse, stared me in the eye for just $5, a dollar cheaper than the copy I bought in New York…& just a few dollars more than my worn out one from a local thrift store…that book haunts me wherever I go!), yet, I hadn’t gotten that whammy I thought I would get….
Then, I realized there was an upstairs.
On the 2nd floor begins the labyrinth journey of stacks of glued books together & other crazy abstract art begin to overtake your psych; you will truly feel like you’re Alice & The Last Bookstore is your Wonderland. They have posted a wonderful sign awaring you that you’re about to enter a room with over $100,000 worth of books lay beyond the walls….every book is $1. I could have stayed in there for hours more than I did. Whether you want old issues of magazines, college essay & writing how-to’s (which is where I plopped down for a bit), biographies, comic books or even how to join the circus, the $1 room will have something for everyone; I am so certain of this that I will gladly mail you $1 should you visit & prove me wrong that you didn’t find something!
The 2nd floor is also where you will see all the art that is often photographed in features; from paper coming out of a typewriter, wrapping its way onto the walls, & a book-case come to life with books “flying” out if it, The Last Bookstore should also qualify as a museum. Also, they house several small boutiques offering obscure & steam punk inspired pieces like home decor & jewelry, as well as legit art galleries. If you’re also someone looking for that artsy, Los Angeles kind of vibe, you cannot get more LA than this store! They also hold small concerts & staged readings, too, making it a very welcoming, laid back atmosphere.
If you’re here in LA, or are going to find yourself here, you truly do not want to miss out The Last Bookstore. They’re open 7 days a week unless specified on their web-site, & are located at 453 S. Spring Street in Los Angeles. If I can give you one piece of advice? If you’re driving, park your car CLOSE to this store at one of the adjacent public parking lots, so you don’t end up walking 4 or 5 blocks back to your car with heavy books in your bag…like some might do 😉
(Disclosure: If you truly go to seek out a book for a $1 at The Last Bookstore & cannot find absolutely anyone that sparks your fancy, email me a picture of you at The Last Bookstore LA & tell me you didn’t buy anything, but make sure to convince me to believe you! & I will send you a buck. Offer valid only through April 30th 2015! 😉 )