Saturday, August 23, 2014

The Last Book Store - Los Angeles, CA

The Last Bookstore - Los Angeles, CA

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Regular readers know that my project and journey is to visit every independent bookstore detailed in My Bookstore, by Ron Rice.  The Last Bookstore (and thank goodness it really isn't the last one) in Los Angeles isn't in the book but boy is it worthy.  It's a bookstore, a museum, and a gathering place.  It even feels a bit like being in a very old library which I think is great.  Best of all, I got to meet Katie, the manager, and RJ, the supervisor, who couldn't  have been more generous with their time during my visit.

It really does have a library feel when you enter.  Two levels of books, new and used, very spacious.  This store originally was used books only but now has new and used.  The very visible book buy-back program will give you store credits or cash.  There is also a buy-back for music and videos.  Low on cash and still want a book?  Go upstairs to the dollar room.  They have a great area for author events and plenty of room to accommodate large crowds so most events are held on site.  Business here is going quite well and this indie is able to succeed with very few sidelines, those extra non-book items.  Some t-shirts, book bags, and journals and that's about it.  Lots of vinyl here for music fans and this might be a good sign for indies.  As the popularity of vinyl continues to re-emerge, that same pendulum may swing towards independent bookstores and books.

As with most of my visits the people here were super.  Katie and RJ gave me so much information I can't begin to reshare it all here.  It's easy to see why things are going so well here.  These two are smart, they know the business, they can easily talk to customers, and they're darn nice people.  They will encourage you to go upstairs and check out the labyrinth.  A very cool area of books arranged, well, like a labyrinth.  Also check out the very cool tunnel of books, part of the labyrinth.  I told Katie this place is also a museum and you'll see that when you go upstairs.

If you take a car here, there are many public parking lots available and you won't have to walk far.  Or have Dad and the kids go to Disneyland and drop Mom off at The Last Bookstore.  Or better yet, drop Mom and Dad off at The Last Bookstore and let the 16 year old son get some good driving experience in Los Angeles traffic!  Yeah, right, IndieBob.  Go to an indie and buy a book.  Bonsoir.

CURRENTLY READING:  A Man Called Ove, Fredrik Backman.  Almost done.  Story of a grumpy old man who doesn't like anyone or anything.  I'm liking it.

RECENTLY PURCHASED:  My Last Bookstore t-shirt, of course.

Across the street from The Last Bookstore.  

If you can't find something to read here you aren't trying.  

My view upon entering.  

Another view upon entering.  

This is the check-out.  Underneath this wooden countertop, it is all supported by books.  Very cool.  

Oh yeah, go ahead and get comfy and at least PRETEND to be reading!  

Get your vinyl here.  

Author events held in this area, a great space on the main floor.  

RJ, supervisor, on the left and Katie the store manager.    

RJ, Katie, and yours truly.  

You'll see this creepy thing on your way upstairs to the labyrinth.  

Very cool display of books.  Just like being in a museum.  

This is a tunnel created by an archway of books.  

After you walk through the book tunnel you can get to this room.  

This is the outside of the book tunnel.  

View from the 2nd level looking down to the main floor.  

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