Thursday, May 23, 2013

The Last Book Store (Downtown Los Angeles)

On the corner of 5th and Spring Street there lies a place where a person can lose themselves in a world of flying pages, and the find the words of a long lost author. They call this place The Last Book Store.
How did I come across this place? Well crazy cats, it was by pure luck as well as an accident. One day I was with my parents driving around downtown LA. It was very late in the day and the streets were flooded with cars. In order for us to cut threw traffic, my father took Spring street all the way towards 5th and it was there that I saw this place. What caught my eye were the vinyl records on display on the window, and then the name The Last Book Store printed on the window in gold like letters. It was then that I knew I had to come back and check this place out. And so now I have, multiple times, and it's easily my favorite bookstore.

Why is it called The Last Book Store? Well according to their website "The name was chosen with irony,
View of the first floor from the second floor.
but it has become a self-fulfilling prophecy as physical bookstores are dying out like dinosaurs from the meteoric impact of Amazon and e-books." So in a way it really is like a last book store. They sell both new and old books. Customers can even sell or trade their own used books. They also host events like open mic night and author meet and greets.

But what's so special about this store that  keeps me coming back and even blogging about it. Well, my dear readers it's the fact that it mixes art with books. There are so many things hidden (literally) in every corner.  You'll see books suspended in midair, pages fluttering everywhere and a giant life size mammoth head hanging on a wall. And this is just the first floor.
The first set of artful decorations you'll encounter on your way to the second floor.
The first floor might not seem too impressive to most (I as sure as hell was impressed though). But there's two floors
This is just the very beginning of the second floor. The labyrinth
of books lies behind from where I am taking the photo. Unfortunately
I did not take a photo of it.
in this book store. And it's the second floor that receives the most attention. On the first floor you'll see books how they are normally sold; in sections of genre. On the second floor it is literally a labyrinth made out of books.

One fact that everyone who visits the bookstore for the first time and must know is that the store was originally a bank. And yes the bank vaults are now turned into a science fiction chambers. There are two and both hold old school pulp fiction books for a dollar. In fact everything on the second floor is a dollar!  Right where the tunnel of books is located there's a bank vault that to me reminds me of Captain Nemo's Nautilus (Jules Verne). I don't know if that's what they were going for though.
The inside of one of the bank vaults. This is the one that reminds me of Captain Nemo's ship.
Of course there are so many super interesting art designs in every nook and crane of this store that I find it impossible to find them all. What interests me most are the books. But since we're on the topic of art, allow me to tell you, dear readers, something. On the second floor there are artists (they have little offices) who..well paint and make things. 
This is the section where artists have their offices. It's my understanding that this is called  Art Walk. 
There is no doubt that this book store has the rights to call itself unique. I have not seen any other book store that uses art and literature and mixes it in a wonderful way. But then again there are many bookstores in LA, so one never knows. But folks this is The Last Book Store; a place where the art of reading is in ever corner, a place where people can meet new people, a place where having a first date is strongly recommended (by who? By me!).  Now to explain something. I remember I posted a photo of a shirt I bought here, at The Last Book Store. On it, there is a picture of a solider carrying books. Why is that there? Well it's simple. On the second floor there are hundreds of different little green army toy soldiers on every bookshelf. One has to have an eye out for them.  Now then, hopefully dear reader, you'll know what I am talking about when I mention The Last Book Store. Well then folks, I really would like you guys to visit this store. Book enthusiasts come and rejoice!
Check out their website for further info: