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Best Independent Bookstores In Los Angeles

April 28, 2011 12:01 AM

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(credit: John MacDougall/AFP/Getty Images)

(credit: John MacDougall/AFP/Getty Images)

header johnmacdougall afp getty1 Best Independent Bookstores In Los Angeles

(credit: John MacDougall/AFP/Getty Images)

The best independent bookstores reflect and serve their community.  They provide a space for ideas and discovery through interesting stock, author events, and literary gatherings.  Here are some of the best in Los Angeles.

featured portrait of a bookstore Best Independent Bookstores In Los Angeles

(credit: Portrait Of A Bookstore)

Portrait of a Bookstore

4360 Tujunga Ave. Studio City, CA 91604
(818) 769-3853
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This is the best curated bookstore in the city.  With such tiny space, each book must be a gem. Known for recommending books semi-annually on NPR, every employee wants to discuss books and find a perfect fit for the customer.  Located in the yummy Aroma Café, the fantasy of curling up with a good book and warm meal comes alive here.

featured laguna beach bookstore Best Independent Bookstores In Los Angeles

(credit: Laguna Beach Bookstore)

Laguna Beach Books

1200 S. Coast Hwy Laguna Beach, CA 92651
(949) 494-4779
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This lovely bookstore is part of The Old Pottery Place, a former pottery outlet revitalized into several stores offering gourmet food or unique items.  Known for its word of mouth sales, Laguna Beach Books provides a chance to learn about authors and books that are relatively unknown from people who are passionate about books.  They carry all genres, plus a beautiful selection of Southern California boating, beach, architecture and cuisine books.

featured village books Best Independent Bookstores In Los Angeles

(credit: Village Books)

Village Books

1049 Swarthmore Ave.
Pacific Palisades, CA 90272
(310) 454-4063
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Its motto is “Large enough to serve you, small enough to know you.”  Village Books is exactly the kind of store where a reader can ask, “Can you help me find a book I’d like?” and the staff will happily wander over to help.  For the kids, a cozy picture book nook gives a small child the luxury of plucking one book after another from the shelves.

featured skylight books Best Independent Bookstores In Los Angeles

(credit: Skylight Books)

Skylight Books

1818 N. Vermont Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90027
(323) 660-1175
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Skylight Books is the neighborhood bookstore readers dream of having close by.  It provides a large and diverse selection, booksellers who knew their stock, and a lively atmosphere.  It’s a solid general bookstore, with excellent selections of art books, local interest, drama, architecture and design, music books, GLBT, photography, small independent publishers, and graphic novels.

associated press1 Best Independent Bookstores In Los Angeles

(credit: Associated Press)

Downtowne Bookstore

3582 Main St.
Riverside, CA 92501
(951) 682-1082

This quaint used bookstore tucked away off Main Street feels secretive.  With squeaky, well-worn wooden floors covered in throw rugs, original art from local artists, and occasionally bowls of fresh fruit, Downtowne Bookstore is both well-stocked and cozy.  They sell wide variety of books at nice prices.

featured facebook com thestoryofopen Best Independent Bookstores In Los Angeles



2226 E. 4th St.
Long Beach, CA 90814
(562) 499-OPEN
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Combination used bookstore, vinyl music store and art gallery, {open} exudes an eclectic, cool vibe.  The aesthetic appeal of its bookshelves invites readers to examine every spine in the hopes of tripping over a surprising find.  In a nod to the creative use of old books; some are used to make journals or bookends.

featured stories Best Independent Bookstores In Los Angeles

(credit: Stories Books)

Stories Books

1716 Sunset Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA
(213) 413.3733
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Stories is a new and used bookstore and cafe in up-and-coming Echo Park.  The abundance of paperback books supply a nice selection of authors and their backlists.  Committed to promoting local authors, it’s the perfect place for readings and gatherings, especially in the mural-lined back patio.

featured book soup Best Independent Bookstores In Los Angeles

(credit: Book Soup)

Book Soup

8818 Sunset Blvd.
West Hollywood, CA
(310) 659-3110
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Book Soup is the store with the Hollywood aura and clientele.  It stocks an extensive selection of film books, biographies, art and photography and non-fiction works.  It isn’t flash and glitter, all current literature and non-fiction are known and recommended.  This is the perfect stop for grown ups who love books.

featured small world books Best Independent Bookstores In Los Angeles


Small World Books

1407 Ocean Front Walk
Venice, CA 90291
(310) 399-2360
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Amidst the hawkers, body-builders and wafts of incense on Venice boardwalk, an amazing indie resides in an old bingo parlor. Small World is big enough to have a selection for the Midwest tourist, the local family, and the resident hemp sellers; yet small enough to sense there’s a smart buyer behind all the choices.

featured latitude 33 Best Independent Bookstores In Los Angeles

(credit: Latitude 33)

Latitude 33 Bookshop

311 Ocean Ave.
Laguna Beach, CA 92651
(949) 494-5403
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Latitude 33 is the perfect stop for literary fiction, children’s books, non-fiction, travel and young adult fiction.  They stock a discount bookshelf with books people actually want. It’s the perfect place to find the next great read.

featured vromans Best Independent Bookstores In Los Angeles


Vroman’s Bookstore

695 E. Colorado Blvd.
Pasadena, CA
(626) 449-5320
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SoCal’s oldest and largest independent bookstore is a reader’s haven.  It’s common to find customers talking about books or crowding the wall of employee recommendations.  With events almost daily, it gives readers an array of literary experiences.  Also known for its sideline products, this is the perfect stop to find the special gift for a booklover.

Kim Allen-Niesen writes Bookstore People blog which reviews independent bookstores all over the country and discusses various literary topics.

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