In a culture where the physical bookstore is slowly becoming obsolete, The Last Bookstore (most aptly named) lies nestled in the heart of downtown LA on the corner of 5th and Spring. When Loee suggested we visit the store I expected a small boutique akin to Meg Ryan's "Shop Around The Corner" in You've Got Mail. The last thing I thought I would find was a towering two-story labyrinth of books. And they do in fact call their archive The Labyrinth.
The Last Bookstore boasts a large collection of new and used literature but also a large record, catalogue and zine section. You could easily find anything there from obscure jazz recordings to Marie Kondo. As amazing as the 1st floor is with it's reading nooks and vaulted ceilings, the hallways upstairs are where the true magic resides. The Last Bookstore's Labyrinth is a network of galleries and tunnels covered wall to wall with images and text.
Visitors may peruse the rooms which are home to works by local artists ranging in genres and constantly on rotation. There is even a dedicated yarn shop.
I have since visited The Last Bookstore a few times and have always been met with different art displays and installations. I don't believe another bookstore showcases such a wide variety of art within it's walls.
In addition to the artwork, the 2nd floor is also home to the used book sections (dollar books - what a steal!) In the lengthy upper gallery one can find color coded shelves stacked with prose, hidden passages, and the famous book tunnel (my personal favorite).
Shopping at The Last Bookstore isn't simply an errand one runs quickly. It is truly a special experience meant to transport shoppers to a world of art, culture, and mystery. I suggest setting aside at least two hours to browse this bustling bookstore's mystical world. I can't wait to head back for some unique Christmas gifts next month. Add this bookstore to your must-see-in-downtown list and happy hunting!
~ A ~