(credit: The Last Bookstore)

(credit: The Last Bookstore)


In an era filled with electronic devices that make it easy for adults and children alike to entertain themselves by ebooks, a mission to keep the paper book industry alive in Los Angeles remains intact. The brick-and-mortar used bookstore is still an ideal place to spend much of the day absorbing a wealth of tangibles, from gathering out-of-print novels to stockpiling vinyl records. Here are a few well-established spots in L.A. that continue to attract readers, researchers, film producers and faithful collectors of rare finds.
(credit: Last Bookstore)

(credit: Last Bookstore)


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

With 20,000 square feet to roam, voracious readers can be overwhelmed by this location’s mind-boggling assortment of used books and vast universe of vinyl records and graphic novels. A back room alone is loaded down with 100,000 books with $1 price tags on each. A new room, featuring rare materials in most genres, is slated to open during the second quarter of 2015. This warehouse of knowledge, the largest of its type in California, buys and trades previously-owned art books, textbooks, DVDs, CDs and many other collectibles, as long as they are in good shape. The Last Bookstore also auctions some of its more popular items on eBay.

(credit: Dave M./Yelp)

(credit: Dave M./Yelp)


The Iliad Bookshop
5400 Cahuenga Blvd.
North Hollywood, CA 91601
(818) 509-2665
www.iliadbooks.com

Holding residency in the San Fernando Valley for more than 25 years, The Iliad Bookshop remains one of the largest sellers of used books in the region. In addition to the many adorable cats that roam the bookstore, more than 125,000 titles stock its shelves, with a primary focus on literature and the arts. Experienced staff members inspect thousands of reading materials each day at this popular TV and film location site. The megastore pays on-the-spot cash for hardback purchases and offers trading options for paperbacks. With 5,000 square feet of insight to explore, plan to spend hours browsing through its monumental assemblage and meeting fellow collectors of rare and out-of-print editions.

(credit: Ruby M./Yelp)

(credit: Ruby M./Yelp)


READ Books
4972 Eagle Rock Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA. 90041
(323) 259-9068
www.readbookseaglerock.com

This quaint bookstore offers an expansive range of first editions for devotees of pop culture and high-minded forms of literature. Collectors seeking rare bestsellers will find a goldmine at READ Books, a meticulously organized store. Dozens of its glass-encased interests bear the signatures of such luminaries as Bette Davis, Muhammad Ali, Sir Paul McCartney and former President Jimmy Carter, in addition to a few local authors. Journalists and aspiring writers also gravitate toward this convenient location for its vintage literary journals and impressive mystery, sci-fi and drama sections. Of course, there is also a special zone set aside for children.

Related: Best Children’s Bookstores In Los Angeles

(credit: Sharon Bush)

(credit: Sharon Bush)


Sam: Johnson’s Bookshop
12310 Venice Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90066
(310) 391-5047
www.samjohnsonsbookshop.com

Collectors looking for a 1689 “whodunit” or a limited edition of a 1927 book signed by English writer Virginia Woolf will likely end their search at Sam: Johnson’s Bookshop, in Mar Vista. The store, thronged with old-time flavor and a style reminiscent of the 1950s, offers awe-inspiring pre-owned books at feasible prices. Those with a fascination for materials that were published during the onslaught of World War II will be delighted to see that such red-letter novels as Money in the Bank has found a home in the first-edition category at this neighborhood hot spot. Some of its items date far back to 1572, bowling over present-day historians.

(credit: Marisol C./Yelp)

(credit: Marisol C./Yelp)


Once Read Books
5422 E. Village Road
Long Beach, CA 90808
(562) 420-1034
www.oncereadbooks.com

It is truly a stress reliever to be able to walk into a bookstore and discover a huge inventory of out-of-print, hard-to-find, used and rare books. Many collectors’ items at this Long Beach site are even signed. The location is currently purchasing books on many subject matters, including art, transportation, history and the military. Staffers are also looking for well-preserved books that are still protected by their original dust-cover jackets. Leather-bound editions that explore a variety of topics are also in high demand. With 35,000 titles on display, plan to dedicate several hours delving into the all-embracing and irrepressible world of lore.

Related: Best Independent Bookstores In Los Angeles

Sharon Raiford Bush is an award-winning journalist who covers topics of social interest in greater Los Angeles. Some news articles she has authored have been archived by the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, DC. Sharon also contributes to Examiner.com.