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The Last Bookstore

While not truly the last bookstore, it is the largest bookstore in the state of California and a bibliophiles playground. Come along as I check out one of the most iconic places to buy a book in Los Angeles!

exploring the last bookstore graphic

The Last Bookstore looks as if it came straight off of a Hollywood film set. Rows upon rows of books with comfortable lush seating and low lights create the perfect environment to get lost in a story. When you first walk in it can feel a bit overwhelming because you have a view of everything, but once you start to meander between the shelves, you realize it actually feels like a bunch of tiny bookstores rather than the behemoth that it is. Filled with all the usual categories like Children's Lit, Young Adult, Sci-Fi etc, there's also special areas like comic books or the rare and vintage collection. They also have a cafe and host live events, so you'll have no shortage of things to keep you busy.

book window

I got quite the happy surprise when I came across their selection of coffee table books, not because of the wide array, but because of the amazing prices! I found a few great books that were all under $15, which is a STEAL if you've ever purchased a good quality table book. And while I don't currently have a coffee table (because I personally don't find them to be compatible with spirited children) I still like to have them for decorative reasons. They're perfect for adding height or filling space. And if you're the indecisive type, you can always plop down in one of the reading chairs and flip through until you find just the right one.

author looking at books

The Last Bookstore has so many areas to explore, but the one that was my favorite had to be the vault. Originally the building was a bank and when they converted it, they decided to keep the bank vault and use it to house law books. Not only does it preserve a piece of the building's history, but it also adds another fun feature. If you're looking for a quiet place to thumb through a law book or two, the vault awaits.

There were actually fun little quirks and art around every corner. They've really taken the time to curate an artistic journey while you're there. They use books in inventive ways to create whimsical pockets of art. They also have thought provoking pieces that are practically begging to be discussed. And even thought the art was random and had different vibes, it somehow all made sense there.

cross filled with pills

In addition to the above ground art, they also have a whole art gallery in the basement of the building. Walking down the stairs and past the small storefronts, going below the bookstore felt like a whole new space. Not every store was open when I visited, but the ones that I did see were all different in what they sold. Some only sold paintings, while others had crystals or vintage inspired items. It's definitely a great place to go if you wanna get someone a one-of-a-kind gift. They also had a number of art pieces peppering the hallway that leads past each little shop, increasing your purchasing options even more!

I think the best part of the basement art gallery for me had to be the floor. I've always wanted to try a penny floor, so getting to see one in action was awesome. I like to think that it's something I would really do, but anytime I actually look into the process I'm reminded that it is a BIG task and I prefer my tasks to be smaller and easier to leave half done ;)

If I'm being totally honest, I need another trip back to be able to really take in everything there is to see there. I'll probably need three or four trips to truly process all the books and art that reside in that space. There were areas I didn't even have the bandwidth to enter, so on my next visit I'll have to really get into all the interesting crevices that this place has to offer.

It seems almost endless with the perfectly curated sections and art installations that seem organically placed and yet perfectly organized. It's a magical place that bookstore, if you get the chance to stop in, get ready to have a fun journey through The Last Bookstore. If you've been, let me know what your fave part is so I can check it out the next time I go.

Happy Travels!

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