Step into The Last Bookstore and you enter a book lover's dream. Books both freshly printed and well-worn are shelved from floor to ceiling, beautiful book art celebrating the printed word adorns the walls, and that strangely intoxicating scent that lingers over used bookstores and libraries permeates the air. Complete with oversized leather couches, an insanely large one-dollar-books section, and an Instagram-worthy tunnel made entirely of books, it's a haven for bibliophiles.
When I walked into this downtown Los Angeles institution, I encountered what you might expect to see in any ordinary bookstore — display tables proudly showcasing staff picks, tall bookcases brimming with books in every category from classic literature to modern fiction to travel, inviting couches — but this is no ordinary bookstore. When I ascended to the second floor, I discovered things that most bookstores don't have: stunning book art installations, pop-up art galleries and bookcase after bookcase of one-dollar books.
Enter The Labyrinth Above The Last Bookstore. This section makes up about half of the second floor of the store and is dedicated to science fiction, fantasy, and thrillers. While wandering The Labyrinth, I overheard a young boy asking an employee for help finding a copy of Michael Crichton's Jurassic Park so he could read the novel and compare it to the movie. Feel free to join me in reveling in that memory.
Once I walked through the book tunnel into the one-dollar book section, the moment I'd anxiously awaited since I first saw the sign at The Labyrinth's entrance, I immediately felt overwhelmed. I did my best to avoid the too-many-books-so-little-time mindset, and instead, I focused on enjoying the color-blocked bookcases and taking solace in the section's dark, quiet corners, areas of respite on a busy Saturday afternoon.
I highly recommend checking out the Spring Arts Collective galleries. It's an easy transition to make from the controlled chaos of the one-dollar books section to The Fold Gallery, which showcases incredible paper art. Don't miss the opportunity to poke your head in the galleries, you will not be disappointed.
The Last Bookstore's name conjures up images of a dystopian bookstore in a bleak future imagined by Ray Bradbury. Luckily, this is not the case, but The Last Bookstore's website does pose the question, "What are you waiting for? We won't be here forever." So, maybe just play it safe and visit The Last Bookstore sooner rather than later.
P.S. A rooftop bar with gorgeous views of DTLA and delicious literary libations is right around the corner.
What are some of your favorite bookstore in Los Angeles? Have any great recommendations? I'd love to hear!