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Latest Best of LA

Best Local Bookstores In Los Angeles

June 23, 2014 5:00 AM

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(credit: Tee Burgess)

(credit: Tee Burgess)

(credit: The Last Bookstore)

(credit: The Last Bookstore)


For literature-loving people, Los Angeles offers local bookstores throughout the city which offer a myriad of books. From fiction to nonfiction, short stories or novels, history to science and more – these stores do more than broker books. They network with local authors and readers; they center on and draw in an appreciation of the written word. With the fast-paced change in retail bookstores in recent years, including on the internet, local bookstores maintain the tangible and social feel of a book in hand.
(credit: The Last Bookstore)

(credit: The Last Bookstore)


The Last Bookstore
453 S. Spring St.
Los Angeles, CA 90013
(213) 488-0599
www.lastbookstorela.com

Whether you’re looking to buy, sell or trade, The Last Bookstore has you covered. The store considers all “good books” in “very good or better condition” under some conditions if you’re looking to sell. In addition, The Last Bookstore is also constantly looking for quality DVDs, CDs and records to buy. Interactive with the local reading community, The Last Bookstore holds special events regularly as well. The name of the store was actually chosen with irony in the battle to keep neighborhood bookstores alive in the face of the large web-based stores like Amazon, etc. With a laundry list of positive critical reviews from LA Weekly, Flavorwire.com, KCRW Radio, The Huffington Post and other publications, the The Last Bookstore helps to build a more literate community within Los Angeles.

Related: Community-Centered Bookstores In LA


Book Soup
8818 Sunset Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90069
(310) 659-3110
www.booksoup.com

Since 1975, Book Soup has been West Hollywood’s premier bookseller. On the Sunset Strip, Book Soup puts customers first and goes beyond your normal bookstore. With artists, writers and readers converging on the spot to enjoy over 50,000 titles, it makes for a unique experience where you can literally find anything. From fiction to nonfiction, books about art, film, music and more, Book Soup pushes a “deep commitment” to “university, international and small presses.” Moving the edge of what we know, its inventory also includes “controversial non-fiction.” A rare sight in recent decades, Book Soup maintains an outdoor newsstand that includes international magazines as well . With books from the ceiling to the floor, the staff is here to “engage you in conversation.”

(credit: Vroman's Bookstore/Facebook)

(credit: Vroman’s Bookstore/Facebook)


Vroman’s
695 E. Colorado Blvd.
Pasadena, CA 91101
(626) 449-5320
www.vromansbookstore.com

Adam Clark Vroman founded Vroman’s Bookstore in 1894, making it one of the Southland’s oldest bookstores. Vroman enjoyed books and giving to his community and contributed to preserving California Missions, the Pasadena Public Library and the Southwest Museum that is today within the Autry Museum.

Related: Best Independent Bookstores In Los Angeles

(credit: Hennessey + Ingalls)

(credit: Hennessey + Ingalls)


Hennessey + Ingalls
214 Wilshire Blvd.
Santa Monica, CA 90401
(310) 458-9074
www.hennesseyingalls.com

At Hennessey & Ingalls, it’s all about the visual arts. Since 1963, this shop has been filling a “unique niche” in book selling as the “largest art and architecture bookstore” in the west. Family owned and managed, and with 8,000 square feet of floor space, it serves the Southland’s community of visual artists. A second location serves the north of the county as well. The shop also sells to schools and libraries, collectors, interior designers, graphic designers and art galleries. And, with a wide range of titles covering anything from graphic design, photography, architecture, landscape design, art and art history you can be assured that Hennessey & Ingalls has anything you’re looking for. While professionals frequent the shelves, many people find the store has a wide selection popular interest books.

(credit: istockphoto)

(credit: istockphoto)


Samuel French Theatre and Film Bookshop
7623 Sunset Blvd.
Hollywood, CA 90046
(866) 598-8449
www.samuelfrench.com

Specializing in theater-oriented books since the 19th century, then later in film, the Samuel French Bookshop is a not only a bookstore and theatre but also a Hollywood landmark. By the 1900s, French had established a printing house, publishing contemporary dramas to support the amateur theater movement. From the 40s to the 90s, the firm had expanded and become a leader across the country in supporting up-and-coming playwrights. While it “strives to cultivate and expand” its titles for the theater industry, Samuel French Bookshop knows its history has also shaped the “theatrical industry as a whole.”

Robert Cuthbert is a freelance writer covering all things Los Angeles. His work can be found on Examiner.com.

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