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I can still remember the moment when The Last Bookstore in downtown Los Angeles ended up on my bucket list. It wasn’t a novel or a CD that piqued my interest.
Instead, an unlabeled Instagram picture depicting a tunnel made entirely of books sent me searching. I eventually discovered that it was a picture from The Last Bookstore. And perhaps the store’s creative design is one of the reasons that the establishment remains a beloved attraction amidst the disappearance of many bookstores.
The Last Bookstore is located in a 22,000-square-foot loft in Spring Art Tower and, though spacious, it features colonial-style pillars and endless rows of books that give it a warm and cozy vibe. On the first floor, I found books-upon-books of every genre; an alcove dedicated to games and graphic novels; and an expansive vinyl record selection. In addition, I learned that The Last Bookstore’s literary events take place on a stage on the first floor, and I marked my calendar for a “Fierce Feminism” talk.
Pro Tip: Visitors visitors must check large bags and backpacks at the front. Skip the line by bringing a small pouch or wallet instead.
After exploring the first level, I made my way to the second, climbing stairs that are labeled with various genre names. On the second floor, The Last Bookstore houses the Gather Yarn Shop and Spring Arts Collective gallery shops. (Under the Spring Arts Collective, displays change on a rolling basis throughout the year.) My personal favorite was the Fold Gallery, which features vintage typewriters and cameras for sale. And just outside of the Fold Gallery space sits a vending machine, where visitors can purchase small trinkets from the gallery.
Once I meandered my way through the gallery shops, the real adventure began. Just beyond the Fold Gallery, the rest of the second floor transitions into a bookstore again, including the Labyrinth Above the Last Bookstore, which includes the aforementioned book tunnel — amazingly held up by the friction between each book.
But, as I learned from my own day of exploration, a simple photo doesn’t do The Last Bookstore justice.
The Details The Last Bookstorewww.lastbookstorela.com