Photo Diary: Chillin’ at The Last Bookstore

The first time I did a quick trip to Los Angeles with friends around November of last year (2019), I made it a point to visit this quirky corner in downtown LA – a must-visit place for bookworms when you happen to be around the area. I personally sacrificed a day to be with friend just to get here but it was oh so worth it!

The Last Bookstore, contrary to the ominous tone that its name implies, is the biggest new and second-hand bookshop in California. According to its site, “the name was chosen with irony, but seems more appropriate with each passing day as physical bookstores die out like dinosaurs from the meteoric impact of Amazon and e-books.” Established in 2005, this independent bookstore continues to buy, sell and trade books as it did from day one.

They have an assortment of new and used books, vinyl records, antique and rare books and graphic novels meticulously arranged per section. For the antique books, they even have a sort of vault-like door leading to the room. The whole place is littered with several book-themed art installations that are pleasing to look at and definitely are photogenic as heck. They also have a space dedicated to artist exhibits, filled with paintings, sculptures and what-nots. There are book tunnels, book frames, themed bookshelves and hidden side rooms – to name a few wonders. I totally understand why this place would be a haven for bookstagrammers because there is definitely plenty of material to go around. Bookish heaven, indeed!

So below are the few snaps I happen to get in an effort to document my experience that fateful sunny afternoon. Enjoy! šŸ™‚

November 17, 2019 | The Last Bookstore @ Los Angeles, California

Just because this letter is too close to my heart.
Below this sign is the vault-like door – giving a sense that you are entering someplace restricted.
Notice these classic covers of these classic books? I KNOW!
Of course, even in a far away place, some things never change. šŸ™‚
This is inside the comics and graphic novel section. I was so glad that, when I was looking through the collection, it’s not only american comics but also lots of lots of mangas as well. I mean, this collection wouldn’t be complete without these.
This intro from rm drake’s book.
This is the stairs to the second floor. Nice touch.
This is one of the book-themed art installations located in the second floor. If I got this right, this is “Diagnosis” by Jena Priebe and David Lovejoy. I don’t have a decent picture of the whole installation but it is full of flying books and papers, papers, papers.
Fantasy unite!
Aah, these themed bookshelves are giving me life.
This is the side of the book tunnel.
Book club flyer!
Labyrinth Above The Last Bookstore!
This famous book frame! It took a lot of courage for me to ask a random stranger to take this photo of me because I went here alone. That is why this is a bit unfocused.
Random bookmark I found in one of the books.
I love seeing this book in the shelf.
Before leaving the place, you will see this sign. “You are now re-entering the real world.” As if the bookstore transported you into some place magical – because it totally did!
This a unique tip jar placed just before you exit the gate.

I honestly enjoyed my visit in The Last Bookstore. I am so glad that I was able to visit a couple of independent bookstores when I was in the US – add the fact that these book stores are some of the most unique and quirkiest places I’ve been to. It was a pretty short trip because I was following a strict schedule during that time but I hope I can come back!

The Last Bookstore
Address: 453 S Spring St, Los Angeles, CA 90013, United States
Schedule: 10 AM to 10 PM (Sun to Thurs); 10 PM to 11 PM (Fri & Sat)
Contact: +1 213-488-0599

P.S. Since this is an independent bookstore, The Last Bookstore is one of the local businesses that are affected by the statewide closures mandated in the US. If you are in the area, you can support them by making an appointment or calling the store. You can practically have the whole store all to yourself. Head to their site for more info on this.

PPS. Read also that they have to lay off a lot of employees because of the mandated closure. This is downright sad. Now I can’t help but imagine how the small, independent bookstores here in the Philippines are faring in the face of this pandemic. After this whole quarantine is over, I thought of featuring some of these bookstores in Manila just to help them get back up the only way that I can. I hope this plan materializes.

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Auditor by profession and a 'round-the-clock geek šŸ¤“ from the šŸ‡µšŸ‡­ and currently based in Belfast. I'm a coffee-holic INTJ with an unhealthy obsession with books and stationery. I word-vomit over at Twitter and posts book pics at Instagram: @pagesandcc . I also blog at .

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