In an era of declining number of traditional bookstores, The Last Bookstore stands proud in an obscure building of downtown Los Angeles. This place is easily overlooked as you walk along the “up-and-coming” neighborhoods of downtown — meaning this area can be a bit grimy.
Entering the shop you are transported back to the time of bookstore dominance when the printed book was king (as I believe it should still be). The shop is an eclectic blend of books, seating areas and throwback items (like cassette tape machines and actual vinyl records with the actual record player). Upstairs there is a section where you can learn to knit and/or buy artwork from local artisans, however, the main attraction is the book. They are everywhere, including being stacked and shaped into walls, tunnels, and check-out counters — so cool!
It was a really hot day when I was there so I spent much of my time roaming from one room with a fan to another room with a fan (they do not have central air conditioning). This was great because I was able to wind through many types of ‘rooms’. One room was in an old gigantic safe as you would see in a bank (unfortunately I did not find any leftover cash in the safe). I kept thinking a character from Harry Potter might jump out on his/her way to Hogwarts in this curious store.
Because this bookstore carries such a wide variety of books from a wide variety of times, you can find used as well as new books here. In fact you can bring some of your old books in (that are in very good condition) and sell or trade them at their “buy counter” near the back of the store. They will also buy CDs and DVDs that are in very good condition.
If you are looking for a unique place to buy some books, this place should be on your list to visit. Once you have your new goodies, you can wander over to Grand Central Market and enjoy a bite to eat while you start reading.
The Last Bookstore is located at 453 South Spring Street, Los Angeles. Their website is www.lastbookstorela.com. Enjoy!