Found in L.A.: The Last Bookstore

Last Bookstore

Want to know about the time I felt like Belle in Beauty and the Beast when she discovers the castle’s library? Visiting The Last Bookstore in downtown L.A. was kind of like that.

If you love books, this is a book lover’s heaven. And if you don’t—though I’m not sure how that’s possible—The Last Bookstore will make you love books.

Last Bookstore

Last Bookstore

Last Bookstore

This magical place was named with irony in mind, but as the number of book stores continues to diminish, well, just about everywhere, this really is one of the few that seems to be thriving. And as soon as you walk in, it’s easy to see why. The 10,000 square foot space is the largest-selling independent book store in California, selling new and used books and records. It’s easy to get lost. (I totally forgot about the parking meter, which I let expire while I browsed.)

records

labyrinth

Last Bookstore

Upstairs is what’s called the “Labyrinth,” where there are more than 100,000 used books for just a dollar each. THAT’S RIGHT, FOLKS. You can really get your reading on here. If you’re into bookshelf porn, this is the place to visit. The Labyrinth really lives up to its name, too. I couldn’t believe how expansive it was. Every time you think you’ve reached the end of the books, there’s another hidden corner to turn. And what better place for a bibliophile to get lost?

Last Bookstore tunnel

book tunnel

books and light

The Last Bookstore also commissioned several artists for funky, permanent installments, which really add so much to the whimsy of the place. Can you imagine how especially fun this would be to explore as a kid? You could turn any child into an avid reader by bringing them here.

art installment

art installment

old cameras

books organized by color

There are also lots of events at the Last Bookstore, like readings and open mics. Apparently, you can even get married there. (Would be well-suited for a couple of book-lovers, no?) I can’t wait to go back.

Would anyone else like to spend his or her whole day at The Last Bookstore? Angelenos, where should I visit next?

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Interweb Finds: Puppy prints, YA fiction’s bad rap & more

William Wegman print

I love William Wegman. Every year, my godfather gives me signed William Wegman calendars for Christmas, because his son works with him. How wonderful is the print above? It’s exclusive for 20×200. I want it.

The other night, I had a dream I was running around in Paris (where, sadly, I’ve never been), and I was very agitated. Everywhere I went, I kept forgetting my camera, and there were scenes left and right that I was dying to capture. Clearly I didn’t learn from my dream, because on Friday, John and I went to check out author Ken Foster talk about his book, I’m a Good Doga photo-filled testament to the innate goodness of pit bulls. The talk and signing took place at Atomic Books in Hampden, which is a pretty photogenic part of town. And in the store was a man with an enormous beard, pierced ears, tattoos on his neck, and camouflage pants. In his arms, he swaddled a brand-new pit bull puppy—rolls of fat, sleepy eyes and all. Not only did I want to steal the puppy from his arms (THE UNBEARABLE CUTENESS), but I so wished I could’ve taken his picture. The tough exterior this guy possessed was in total contrast to his new-father manner toward this tiny, innocent creature, and it would’ve made for a beautiful image. But alas, I did not bring my camera, and instead I just stared at him and his dog like a crazy person. Still kicking myself.

Anyway, onto this week’s collection from the webz:

I can’t get enough of dogs. There’s a reason why—they’re better than therapy. Aaaand while we’re on the subject of puppiez, this book sounds like a good read, too.

Don’t you love when characters on TV live in places they wouldn’t be able to afford in real life? Here are five NYC apartments from TV and the real cost of rent.

It feels good to help other people. Why volunteering can make you healthier.

Here’s an article that’ll make you think—partly because the title is misleading. From NY Times, “Why I am Pro-Life.”

Whether you’re happy Obama won or bitter that Romney didn’t, this should make you laugh. Photos of Mitt Romney looking longingly at people.

THIS is what I’d like to make my cross-country trip in. And when I get to California, THIS is where I’d like to live. Thank you very much.

As the daughter of a YA fiction author, I have always enjoyed books geared toward teens. But the genre unfairly gets a bad rap from some critics. This blog post defending YA literature hits home.

Speaking of books and reading, these vintage photos of readers (pre-Kindle era) are fascinating. I love how for many, reading was a group activity.

 

Hope you had a great weekend!