Weird California
Weird California
Weird California - By Joe Parzanese

The Last Bookstore

Map 453 South Spring Street, Los Angeles, California 90013

The Last Bookstore
The Last Bookstore

Check Out Counter
Check Out Counter

Located in Downtown Los Angeles, in an old bank, there's still one last grand bookstore, one last repository of novels and written works. As bookstores close one after another, done in by Amazon or Barnes and Nobles online presence, this one still remains, a store where you can walk in, browse 22,000 square feet of books, and purchase that work of literature you so desperately need to read! This is the Last Bookstore, and it is quite possibly one of the largest independent bookstores in the world still open.

The Last Bookstore was founded by Josh Spencer in 2005, moved to a small retail space in 2009 and finally to its current amazing location in 2011.

The Last Bookstore is in an old Bank
The Last Bookstore is in an old Bank
Books are even stored in an old vault
Books are even stored in an old vault
The Last Bookstore
The Last Bookstore

The Last Bookstore is literally in the main area of a former bank, complete with books housed in an old bank vault. Giant pillars reach way up to the ceiling of the old bank. The store moved into the current location in the Spring Arts Tower on June 3rd, 2011. The building is considered historic, having opened over a hundred years ago in 1914 and having cost then more than a million dollars. The upstairs area is meant to evoke imagery of a labyrinth of books as the shelves go all sorts of directions, creating strange paths and turns through the stacks of books.

The Bank Vault
The Bank Vault
Flying Books
Flying Books
Book Tunnel
Book Tunnel
Organized by Color
Organized by Color

There are many things that make The Last Bookstore unique, and one of those is its many interesting and unique displays involving their books. The most memorable and probably most photographed one, is the book tunnel. Several stacks of books are arched over a ramp creating a giant book tunnel that you can literally walk through. It's lit up by some lights and shows off some pretty nifty engineering with the way the books are stacked.

The Book Tunnel
The Book Tunnel
The Book Tunnel
The Book Tunnel
The Book Tunnel
The Book Tunnel
The Book Tunnel
The Book Tunnel

The next most popular display in the bookstore, and perhaps the most Instagrammed is the book hole, a hole literally in the middle of several piles of stacked books. You can pose in the middle of the "window" and end up framed by the piles of books. It's a pretty neat image, and is extremely popular. On busy days, waiting to take your picture in this book window might be the longest wait you'll have in the store.

The Hole
The Hole
The Hole
The Hole
The Hole
The Hole

Other displays in the bookstore include a shelf where the books are placed to appear as if they are flying off the shelf like birds, various books arranged in their shelves by color, a check out counter made entirely of stacked books, the aformentioned vault of books, and the also mentioned labyrinth of books upstairs.

The Vault
The Vault
The Last Bookstore
The Last Bookstore
The Last Bookstore
The Last Bookstore

The bank was originally called Citizens National Bank and occupied much more than the bookstore. In 1963 Citizens National Bank merged with another bank and became Crocker-Citizens Bank, and finally in the 1980s was acquired by Wells Fargo. There is still a Crocker Club in the basement that still utilizes the original bank vault down there.

If you find your way through the upstairs labyrinth you will eventually come upon several small shops that showcase and sell local art, crafts, and gifts. The Last Bookstore also has a pretty full calendar of events ranging from monthly book clubs to signings and lectures. It's said that a quarter of a million books sit on the shelves in the Last Bookstore, plus vinyl records, graphic novels, and other assorted merchandise. There should be something for everyone somewhere in there, but it may take an adventure to locate it!

The Labyrinthe
The Labyrinthe
Flying Books
Flying Books
Tiffany Buys a Book
Tiffany Buys a Book
Flying Books
Flying Books



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Last Edited: 2020-12-23


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