Photos by Symphony Barnes
Looking for somewhere to go that involves reading, music and taking cute pictures? Then look no further than the Last Bookstore.
The Last Bookstore is a multi-leveled, new and used book and record store located in Downtown Los Angeles.
But it’s not an ordinary bookstore with just a bunch of bookshelves.
On its ground floor, the store may appear to be typical of a normal bookstore — there are many shelves of books and records, bestsellers propped up on display and couches and armchairs interspersed throughout. And they also have a counter where you can sell and trade your books, CDs, DVDs and records.
But it’s upstairs where the gems are. It almost seems like the place is more of an art museum than a bookstore.
Upstairs is a space filled with a variety of reads, art pieces and books compiled into what seems to be like art pieces.
One of these interesting, artistic installations is a bookcase, out of which books appear to be flying, accompanied by a floating typewriter with lots of paper flowing out of it.
But what could probably be deemed the coolest part of the store is the tunnel of books that customers can walk through. Hundreds of books are stacked to form a tunnel over a ramp through which customers can stroll up and down.
In the same general area is a similar piece, referred to as the “Book Loop,” where books have been assembled to form a sort of portal that many like to have their picture taken through, to make it look like they are framed by a circle of books.
Other cool regions include a horror section called the “Horror Vault,” another area called “The Labyrinth,” which is basically a large, maze-like space with thousands of used books and “The Arts and Rare Book Annex,” an area with plenty of rare books and art.
These are just some of the highlights of the bookstore, but there is certainly much more to explore as well, including quirks like a room with an old bank vault, a section where books are color coded in the way they are organized, many framed art pieces and several quaint, little sitting areas that overlook the bottom floor.
And overall, the selection of books is spectacular. From nonfiction books to kids books to counterculture books, to random books and records that are virtually unheard of, book lovers could probably walk around the place for hours on end, and still not even feel like they’ve scratched the surface.
The Last Bookstore is open Sunday from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., Monday through Thursday from 10 a.m to 10 p.m. and Friday and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 11 p.m.
In terms of parking, there are a couple of parking lots near the bookstore, but can be more costly, so your best bet is to utilize metered street parking on both sides of Spring and 5th Streets (the bookstore is located at the corner of these two streets). Street parking is often free after 6 p.m. or 7 p.m. and on Sundays. But just make sure you thoroughly read the signs to avoid towing.
It should also be noted that the bookstore requires customers to check in their bags with security at the entrance, if they are larger than an 8 by 11 inches.
The bookstore is located at 453 S. Spring St., Los Angeles, CA 90013.
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