August 28, 2013

The Last Bookstore

A place exists in downtown Los Angeles unlike any other. It is a maze of books and art and art made of books. A place that has a winding labyrinth of $1 books and shelves full of books sorted by color and book pages for decorations. It is a store you dream about, a magical wonderland of stories. It's not a dream though. The Last Bookstore is everything you've always wanted a bookstore to be.
I'd been meaning to visit this shop for a while but just kept using the excuse that it was downtown and I didn't go there often. Trust me, don't keep using that excuse. Parking was manageable and visiting the store was completely worth the trip. You know it's a special place as soon as you enter; it just has its own vibe - a strong one. You're greeted with this sculpture and it sets the tone.
Yes, that is a fish in the fishbowl head.

I went for the books but kept getting distracted by the decorations. I felt like I had walked into a story and all I could do was wander. New surprises were around every corner. Was this what traveling past the wardrobe into Narnia felt like? I think so - in a small part anyway.

Eventually I focused and found some books to take home with me (including novelizations of The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi), but I spent most of my time at The Last Bookstore exploring. Their Labyrinth upstairs is prime territory for the hunter - the person who likes to scan through hundreds of titles looking for a treasure or something unexpected. That person could spend hours among the stacks and not see it all. On occasion, I have the patience to be that person but it wasn't the day I went. I stuck to skimming and visiting every nook and cranny and corner. 

I, in fact, got lost in the Labyrinth. It's not so bad to be lost when you're surrounded by books though.

The Last Bookstore is the kind of place you want to be trapped in during the apocalypse. I'm not sure how defensible it is, but I know that I'd be happy until my last breath.

More photos of the shop over at Flickr.


  1. I want to visit that place some day! WOW!

  2. This store looks awesome, definitely have to head into town and check it out.

  3. Ha! One of my friends from college is a manager there.

  4. I would LOVE to go there! I envy people with book shops near them these days, and this one looks great.


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