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The Best Bookstores In Los Angeles

Samantha Jacobs |
February 24, 2014 | 1:29 p.m. PST

Staff Writer

The Last Bookstore (Twitter/@Yehan123)
The Last Bookstore (Twitter/@Yehan123)
Yes, Los Angeles is filled with fun tourist attractions. And while the beach, Disneyland and L.A. Live are great, they sometimes overshadow other worthwhile L.A. attractions. A prime example of this is the amazing array of bookstores that the city has to offer. Here are some of our favorite local bookshops, where you can cozy up and lose yourself in a good yarn for an hour or two.

SEE ALSO: 7 Ways To Enjoy "Tanuary" In Los Angeles

Skylight Books (Twitter/@LACrimeWriter)
Skylight Books (Twitter/@LACrimeWriter)
Skylight Books

Skylight carries everything from graphic novels to science fiction to books written about the history of Los Feliz, where the store is located. The staff is knowledgeable and eager to help you find whatever book you’re looking for. This independent shop also hosts author readings and signings. They've hosted a range of writers, from Pulitzer Prize-winning author Michael Cunningham ("The Hours") to USC master's students. Many of the author readings are recorded as podcasts, which you can download free from iTunes. A variety of book clubs also meet in the store throughout the week.

Address: 1818 N. Vermont Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90027

Hours: 10 a.m. - 10 p.m. daily


Small World Books

Next time you’re in Venice Beach and need a break from strolling around and people-watching on the boardwalk, check out Small World Books. From classic children’s tales to musician biographies, you can find books of any genre here. If you don't have a particular title in mind, the staff writes personal and thorough suggestions, which you can read in the store. Small World Books lives up to its name in physical size, but makes up for its lack of real estate with a lot of character. Between its location tucked away in eccentric Venice Beach, its great selection of poetry and a friendly store cat, this bookshop is seeping with personality.

Address: 1407 Ocean Front Walk, Venice Beach, CA 90291

Hours: 10 a.m. - 8 p.m. daily

The Last Bookstore (Twitter/@Mr_Plane)
The Last Bookstore (Twitter/@Mr_Plane)
The Last Bookstore

You could spend an entire week in this downtown L.A. bookstore and never have a dull moment. The Last Bookstore, which doubles as both bookshop and art show, is widely revered for its unique decorations and pleasing aesthetics. You can browse through true crime books in an actual bank vault. You can peer through funky holes between stacks in the science fiction section. You can gaze at giant fish made out of books hanging on the wall, or explore the maze that makes up the entire second floor--it's a playground for book aficionados. And while you roam through the Last Bookstore, make sure to head upstairs to check out the store’s bargain section, where you can find quality books and vinyl records for a mere dollar. On a budget? Consider selling or trading your used books, CDs and DVDs for something at the store.

Address: 453 S. Spring St., Los Angeles, CA 90013

Hours: Monday - Thursday, 10 a.m. - 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday, 10 a.m. - 11 p.m. Sunday, 10 a.m. - 6 p.m.

Stories Books (Twitter/@htTweets)
Stories Books (Twitter/@htTweets)
Stories Books

Hungry for a new book? Craving a snack? For the best of both food and literature, stop by Stories Books. This little indie shop offers indoor and outdoor patios for you to sit back and chill with a good story. The atmosphere of the outdoor patio is laidback and bohemian, with twinkle lights and graffiti art decorating the walls. To top it off, the store has its own café, with prices that are definitely affordable by L.A. standards. A large mocha for under $5? Yes, please. Whether you're hankering for a large organic cup of coffee, a caprese panini or both, you're sure to enjoy a good meal at Stories Books. Is there anything better than that combination?

Address: 1716 W. Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90026

Hours: Monday - Thursday, 8:30 a.m. - 9 p.m. Friday, 8:30 a.m. - 10 p.m. Saturday, 10 a.m. - 10 p.m. Sunday, 10 a.m. - 8 p.m.

Chevalier’s Books

Living up to its name (chevalier means "knight" in French), Chevalier's Books is known for its employees' hospitality. The store has a friendly staff on hand, eager to help you find any book you need. This charming shop, located in Windsor Square, has an extensive first-rate children’s section, where you can find all sorts of books for kids--or yourself, if you’re feeling nostalgic. Aside from hardbacks and paperbacks, you can also pick up unique greeting cards, vintage fountainheads and a wide array of sentimental tchotchkes. Bonus: they have free gift wrapping.

Address: 126 W. Larchmont Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90004

Hours: 10 a.m. - 6 p.m. daily

Book Soup (Twitter/@BookSoup)
Book Soup (Twitter/@BookSoup)
Book Soup

Book Soup in West Hollywood has books, books and more books. The store offers a jaw-dropping amount of books from any genre you can think of, along with a knowledgeable book staff. Customers have said that Book Soup's staff picks have introduced them to life-changing novels they never would have found on their own. The store attracts an impressive variety of authors too: past guests include Amy Sedaris, Anna David and Okey Ndibe.

Address: 8818 Sunset Blvd., West Hollywood, CA 90069

Hours: Monday - Saturday, 9 a.m. - 10 p.m. Sunday, 9 a.m. - 7 p.m.


Alias Books East

Atwater Village's Alias Books East is a gem of a used bookstore in Los Angeles. The books are good quality and relatively inexpensive, with a wide assortment to choose from. The store itself is very well-organized and has an excellent collection of fiction, photography and cinema-themed literature in particular. Perfect subjects for the entertainment capital of the world!

Address: 3163 Glendale Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90039

Hours: Monday - Saturday, 11 a.m. - 9 p.m. Sunday, 10 a.m. - 7 p.m.


Vroman's (Twitter/@vromans)
Vroman's (Twitter/@vromans)
Vroman’s is the oldest and largest independent bookstore in southern California. With two locations in the Pasadena area, Vroman’s has every book you didn’t even know you needed. They have a seemingly endless number of books in every genre possible. Aside from having a plethora of books to choose from, Vroman’s loves featuring its local authors by displaying their books prominently in stores, and by having many of them come to the store for book signings. Memorable guest authors that have graced Vroman's flagship store include B.J. Novak, Jen Lancaster and Sam Wasson.

Flagship store: 695 E. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena, CA 91101

Hours: Monday - Thursday, 9 a.m. - 9 p.m. Friday and Saturday, 9 a.m. - 10 p.m. Sunday, 10 a.m. - 8 p.m.

Hastings Ranch store: 3729 E. Foothill Blvd., Pasadena, CA 91107

Hours: Monday - Saturday, 9 a.m. - 8 p.m. Sunday, 10 a.m. - 7 p.m.


Reach Staff Writer Samantha Jacobs here. Follow her on Twitter here.



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