A few weeks ago that was an article in the LA Times on a unique bookstore located in downtown L.A. Called "The Last Bookstore," it's famous not only for a huge selection of used books, it also is a built-in art gallery - but this isn't your usual prints. There are monuments throughout the cavernous two-story store built entirely out of books.
This store is occupying a historic 10,000 square foot space that used to be a Citizen's National Bank Building at 453 Spring Street. It is also a gathering place for community events, and if yesterday was any indication, it is a non-stop beehive of shoppers, browsers, activists, people looking for free food, tourists and the occasional dog. I'm assuming that the article in the Times drew a lot of people into the store, because it was hopping. The community events are held right in the middle of the bottom floor; I wasn't paying too much attention to what was being said at the gathering yesterday because I was so engrossed in the book selection, but it was loud and occasionally words like "Palestine," "United States," and "Zionism" were heard. You get the idea. Not that I'm against those kind of gatherings, but I prefer them not to be in a bookstore, not to be a continual barrage of words that never stop, and at a sound level that gives you a headache.
Regardless of the loudness of the speeches, I thoroughly enjoyed going and definitely plan on going back. The downstairs is organized by subject. Prices are okay for used books - not great, but not outrageous either - for hardbacks they seemed to range from $5 to $8, with large, art, and coffee table sized books ranging around $12.
But the upstairs is a sight to behold. First of all, all the books upstairs are $1.00, and there are a lot of them. They are NOT organized by any subject, except for the occasional shelf in which they are shelved by color. You want blue books, you got blue books. You want red books, you got red books.
But the artwork is a sight to behold. I apologize for the quality of the photos - I took only my cellphone which takes lousy pictures. If you want to see better photos and more artwork, go here for the L.A. Times story, which has 20 photos.
Owner Josh Spencer says in the article, "It's almost a post-apocalyptic fantasy of mine. "What if civilization collapsed and there was one bookstore left, what would that look like? I just let my imagination go."
So a definite thumbs up for The Last Bookstore. I mean, ANY bookstore gets a thumbs up from me at this point when it's so hard to find them.
Be Careful, It's My Heart
47 minutes ago