Are you craving the smell of old books, comfy sofas and the requisite shop cat? Los Angeles has some great competitors to Barnes and Noble and Borders. Look no further than this guide, and support your local bookstores.
1818 N Vermont Avenue
Los Angeles, Calif. 90027
Skylight has been around since 1996 and sits on the site of another local bookstore landmark store Chatterton’s. Located in the shadow of Griffith Park and its iconic observatory, Skylight Books has a great fiction section and a good selection of plays. Staff members are very friendly and helpful, as is the shopcat Franny. The space is open and well-lit with lots of room for browsing. Blessedly, there is not a single table dedicated to the works of Stephanie Meyer.
695 E. Colorado Blvd.
Pasadena, Calif. 91101
If you’re a multi-tasker, this may be the independent bookstore for you. Vroman’s not only offers books, it has a cafe, bath products, children’s toys, clothes, a newsletter, book signings and live performances. Despite what sounds like a lot of hullaballoo, this place is actually fairly quiet and has ample seating. It’s a space to read and feel right at home.
Portrait of a Bookstore
4360 Tujunga Avenue
Studio City, Calif. 91604
Nestled inside Aroma Cafe – a quaint coffee shop offering great desserts – Portrait of a Bookstore is a great place to relax and find a new book to read. Customers reviews are hung beneath the books, and a knowledgable staff is happy to help you find the perfect read. Customers reviews are hung beneath the books, and a knowledgable staff is happy to help you find the perfect read.
8818 W Sunset Blvd.
West Hollywood, Calif. 90069
Located in a small but charming space that feels like someone’s house, Book Soup has an outstanding collection of children’s books, cooking, fiction and non-fiction. Bright-colored Post-It type notes give helpful recommendations and reviews by the staff. The store also free parking and gift wrapping.
Iliad Book Shop
5400 Cahuenga Blvd.
North Hollywood, Calif. 91601
This enormous, well-organized store advertises more than 100,000 books and a one-eyed cat – now you have to check that out. Illiad offers competitive prices and hard-to-find titles, a fantastic sci-fi section, a serious collection of plays and paperbacks. If you are missing a copy of “1984” or “Anna Karenina,” pick one up for $2.50 at Iliad. Art and photography books in good condition range from $3 to $10. And don’t forget to give the friendly pirate kitty a pet.