What’s Your Favorite Bookstore?

I don’t own a Kindle. Or a Nook, or any of those other digital book-reader things. Maybe they’re more awesome than I think – I’ve actually never really even tried one – but nothing beats the feeling of walking out of a bookstore with a book in your hands.

That’s why I’m glad The Last Bookstore in LA had its grand re-opening last week, after vacating its former (and much tinier) spot at 4th and Main. Los Angeles may not be Seattle, but we’ve got our fair share of great little bookshops.

Me, I’m a fan of Skylight and Wacko, mostly because both are walking distance from my apartment. I also love two Glendale shops right across the street from each other, the Brand Bookshop and Mystery & Imagination (whose sign outside actually reads “BookFellows”). And I know at least one of my fellow bloggers (as well as many of you, I’m sure) is a fan of Book Soup (and with good reason; that place rocks). And I know Travis is a fan of the Taschen shops; I like the one in the Farmers Market because I pass it on my way home from work every day.

But I’m sure there are a bunch I don’t know about. What’s your favorite bookshop in LA?

12 Replies to “What’s Your Favorite Bookstore?”

  1. Skylight or Vromans are awesome. I like {open} in Long Beach, because it’s my local bookstore. But I seriously miss Green Apple from SF.

  2. I get sad, though, that LA has many bookstores that seem to have fewer books on their shelves than I do at my home.

  3. Vromans as they are my closest local store, followed by Brand Books in Glendale. Sadly there aren’t many non-chain type stores left.

  4. I love the used bookstore at the Santa Monica library – it’s huge, surprisingly great mix of random books, and cheap. Can’t wait to check out the Last Bookstore.

  5. What an excellent question! Coming at it from an historical perspective, my two favorite bookstores no longer exist: Hunters Books on Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills (where I worked as a stock clerk for a couple high school years), and the amazing Pickwick Books on Hollywood Boulevard, whose third floor attic space accessible only by a rickety staircase, held a treasure trove of Civil War books, before which I could be found on many school day afternoons.

    I will never find any that equal them, but Vroman’s, Skylight and Book Soup would be my top three still among the living.

    PS, And alas, one I regret never visiting was Long Beach’s Acres of Books, reportedly an amazing place until it closed in 2008.

  6. Would it lame or cheese is I said the public library? Well LAPL is my favorite. I can go on line and have books delivered to which every local library I want to pick them up at (well not the library I want to go to, but the library my tween daughter wants to go to). Even with the reduced hours, with planning, was can always find some time once a week to visit.

    But if I MUST pick a book store, it would be Counter Point on Franklin (although it has been a few years since I have been there) or the book section of St. Vincent de Paul Thrift store by the river.

  7. I’d like to add college bookstores; and the Los Angeles area has many. It’s a good place to see what the youngsters are reading. My favorite so far is the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, not so much for the books (nor the art supplies) but because they carried an obscure Japanese design magazine (at $35 a pop, does that count as a book?).
    Also, Kinukuniya Bookstore in Little Tokyo, because they carried that same obscure Japanese design magazine. Plus, they have a good selection of pens.
    And +1 to Skylight Books. Having attended a couple of book reading group discussions there a few years ago, I found it was a wonderful place to see the community’s wit and wisdom. But, no obscure Japanese design magazines.

  8. The Iliad rules. I’ve been going there for nearly 15 years. Their current location is a bit deeper into the Valley but it’s so worth the drive.

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