Lost in Literature: ‘The Last Bookstore’ in L.A.

I love, love, love books. Ever since I was a little girl I have treasured the ability of books to expose me to new ideas and transport me into other worlds. At no surprise, The Last Bookstore in downtown Los Angeles has been on my literary bucket list. Last Friday, I finally had the chance to check it out!

The Last Bookstore

453 S Spring St – Ground Floor
Los Angeles, CA 90013

Located in the historic Spring Arts Tower in the heart of downtown, The Last Bookstore utilizes two levels of what used to be the Citizens National Bank to create one of the largest independent bookstores in the world. They buy, sell, and trade new and used books of all genres and subjects – they even have a horror vault!

According to their website, the name of the bookstore “was chosen with irony, but seems more appropriate with each passing day as physical bookstores die out like the dinosaurs from the meteoric impact of Amazon and e-books.” Indeed, it’s easy to imagine The Last Bookstore as being the sole remaining outpost of its kind, its maze of shelved corridors and timeworn architecture a safe haven for the printed word.

In addition to books, The Last Bookstore boasts a collection of vintage vinyl, graphic novels, an art gallery, and the Insta-famous Labyrinth Above the Bookstore.

As a bibliophile, I felt right at home wandering the seemingly endless aisles of literature. It wasn’t difficult to get lost perusing the subjects: New Age, History, L.A. Writers, Travel, Mystery, Film. I adored the well worn leather chairs, amazing book sculptures, and twinkling white lights that made the space feel infinitely and incredibly magical.

The only downside to The Last Bookstore (besides limited parking) is the crowd of photographers and social media tourists who seem to take over the Labyrinth upstairs. The book tunnel especially was where I seemed to constantly be in the way of someone’s selfie. Now I love photography, but just remember to keep in mind that other people want to be there, too.

I ended up leaving the store with used copies of Ghosts in Orange County by Victoria Gross and Best American Screenplays 2 edited by Sam Thomas. My total was only $13.00!

In short, The Last Bookstore is a little piece of literary heaven. I highly recommend it for readers and artists alike, and it’s a great activity for solo travelers, small groups, or family outings.

PRICE: Free to enter. Items range in price with some used books starting as low as $3.
HOURS: 10AM – 10PM M-Th; 10AM – 11AM F-Sat.; 10AM – 9PM Sun
TIP: Parking on the street is limited so be prepared for a short walk from one of the nearby paid parking structures.

Photos by Kayla Roth

Would you visit The Last Bookstore? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!

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