A Los Angeles Staple
Have you ever stared into the eyes of a giant woolly mammoth head while you look for a new book to enjoy or some vintage vinyl records to jam to? Well, I have, so follow me on my visit to “The Last Book Store”, right in the center of the ever so lively Downtown Los Angeles!
The Last Bookstore opened in 2005 on the corner of 5th & Spring, it was erected in what was the main area of a former bank, complete with books about notorious serial killers and criminals housed in an old and creepy bank vault that I’m…75% sure is haunted. With over 250,000 books and spanning 2 floors encompassing 22,000+ square feet, The Last Bookstore became and still is California's largest seller of new, used, and rare books; Personally, I really like the way the 2nd floor wraps around the inside of the building and allows visitors to scan the place from above. With so many books and art installations, it really opens the place up and makes it feel more like a museum than a bookstore. And yes, they do in fact have a wooly mammoth head mounted on the wall, they weren't joking.
On the second floor, accessible through a small staircase & old timey elevator, you can find The Spring Arts Collective; Located on Gallery Row in the center of Downtown L.A., the gallery space is curated by artists Andrea Bogdan, Jena Priebe, David Lovejoy, Liz Huston, and Robin McGeough. As I walked through the gallery, we noticed there are a few shops on that floor! Only two were open at the time of our visit but, one was very clearly handmade women’s clothing and the other, my favorite, was this little shop that had a bit of everything. I mean, vintage cameras of all kinds, a whole corkboard with Enamel Pins; I am deeply entrenched in collecting enamel pins. I also noticed some unique ceramic tea sets and other novelty items. One could honestly just go there and discover something new with every visit.
Fun fact: Josh Spencer, owner & operator of The Last Bookstore, thought it would fail within the first three years due to the declining state of the book industry which is why he chose the ironic name. One of my favorite things about this shop, besides the wide variety of books, is that you can sit and enjoy your books in there as well. There are comfortable couches and recliners littered throughout the building for people’s enjoyment and convenience. There is even a small stage space for literary, musical, and theatrical events that I have yet to experience for myself. The only thing that’s missing is a tiny coffee shop or some sort of snack bar.
Are You a Bibliophile?
Another great thing about The Last Bookstore is, there’s different sections based on price as well. On the second floor there is a whole wall, and I mean a WHOLE wall, where the books are just one dollar. I mean, there’s probably tax in there but still, that’s a great deal. Especially if you’re a real bibliophile who knows their stuff when it comes to authors and, you know, books. There is also a rare book & collectables annex to the left when you enter the shop. This annex holds rare first editions, famous pieces of art and many other things.
Another great thing about The Last Bookstore that I recently discovered is that you can buy specially curated for you book bundles for as little as $25 bucks! I personally don’t know of any other bookstore that does that. The bundles also go as high as $200 dollars, but it all depends on what you are looking for since these are expertly curated collections of books based on what YOU like. All you have do is choose your budget, your favorite genres, maybe even list a few of your favorite authors or your least favorite so you can avoid those books with the help of The Last Bookstore’s expert curators. Depending on the demand your bundle could take one to two weeks to curate. A 2-day rush service is available for $25 bucks.
Los Angeles Self Storage
This is one of many reasons I recommend The Last Bookstore to any of our customers at Los Angeles Self-Storage, trying to declutter their storage units. A good majority of them, from what I’ve seen, have plenty of books just sitting there collecting dust. The Last Bookstore is a great way to essentially recycle books without destroying them or tossing them in the trash. If you have an interesting enough collection of books, you could even sell the lot directly to them. You might not get a lot for them but, personally, I think the feeling of helping a local business, like The Last Bookstore, is reward enough especially when you know you are donating something you enjoyed and hopefully someone else will.
The Last Bookstore is located on the corner of 5th & Spring Street, just a 15-minute walk from Los Angeles Self-Storage. 10 minutes if you speed walk. You can also visit it every day between the hours of 11 AM and 8 PM.
The Last Bookstore
453 S Spring St Ground Floor
Los Angeles, CA 90013
All week: 11AM-8PM