The Last Bookstore, A Labyrinth
One of the most unexpected places we visited in Los Angeles is probably this - the Last Bookstore. The former bank is now home to thousands of new and secondhand books, records, and art pieces. The inner bookworm in me was screaming inside realising just how much books there is in this store waiting to be discovered and read. If you know me well, you'd know that I am a partial geek and I can spend hours and hours just reading books. For that very reason, I try not to open a book when I know I don't have time to spare otherwise I'd be drowned in it all day and no one can get a word out of me unless I finished the whole goddamn book.
To me, books are keys that unlock doors to a whole lot of different worlds. So imagine this library filled with countless of worlds ready to welcome you with open arms. All you have to do is pick and start reading. In a very dreamy setting, might I add. While the ground level of the Last Bookstore is beautiful in itself, the mezzanine level is where the treasures are kept and arranged in ways you can only ever imagine of a bookstore. There's a tunnel made out of books erupting from a bookcase; an actual vault now a sci-fi hideout; a section called Secret Headquarters Dungeon Dungeon; a Rare Art and Books annex; and of course a Labyrinthine of bookshelves where you can easily get lost wandering around in.
You what's sad though? The reason this place is called the Last Bookstore is because it could very truly be the last one. There's a huge decline in the number of actual bookstores open for business because of the digital world taking over. As always, it's the Internet, and the last Bookstore's mission is to "keep the paper and ink book business alive in an era of e-readers and digital downloads". I'm kind of guilty in that aspect as I also stopped buying physical books when I discovered apps where I could read books on my phone. But I've come to realise the value of a physical book, and one who's now into all things old school, I'm back at it. You know, if I ever lived in LA (pray I will), you'll find me here very often, that I'm sure of.
Pierre and I obviously took advantage of the beautiful setting and took lots of photos for your viewing pleasure. My vocabulary can sometimes be so limited when I want to describe something so beautiful but I can't think of words other than that so it's always best to have images to support and show you guys what I mean instead.
All you bookworms planning to visit the Last Bookstore, it is located in the heart of downtown LA at 453 South Spring Street, just a few blocks from the Grand Central Market. A few things to note: big bags need to be checked in and left at the entrance but bring your cameras out if you want to take pictures because trust me you'd want to!
Photos by Pierre Elma