A hidden adventure in The Last Bookstore
The Last Bookstore, located in the arts district of downtown Los Angeles, continues to entice readers and tourists with their large collection of vinyl records, novels and paintings.
Thinking the Last Bookstore was going to be just like other bookstores, I was blown away when I saw its interior. It was akin to a gallery that showcased an almost infinitesimal amount of books. The books were held by wooden bookshelves, which were spaced out a couple of feet in order to prevent crowding. This gave the bookstore a more open feeling, encouraging me to discover other attractions that lie within the bookstore.
With a quick glance into the neighboring room, I saw an entire wall of eye-catching portraits, ranging from graphic to photo-realistic. All of the bookshelves in the room were pointed in the direction of the portraits, similar to benches in a chapel. Adjacent to the portrait room, there was a dimly lit room that emulated the environment of a captain’s quarters on a ship; creating a more quiet, uncrowded atmosphere for visitors to enjoy.
Further in the bookstore, there was a set of stairs leading up to the upper floor. Each stair was inscribed with a genre, such as history and cultural studies, indicating what awaited visitors.
Reaching the top of the staircase, I was immediately met which what seemed like a maze of books. The spacing between the bookshelves that made the space substantially smaller than the main floor bookshelves, creating more foot traffic and restricting many photo-opportunities for guests.
The color-coding of the books, mirroring the colors of the rainbow, made maneuvering through the columns a lot easier on the eyes and more enjoyable. Upon exiting the the hallway, I entered a tunnel built by books, making me rethink the laws of gravity. The tunnel led toward the spring arts collection, which held numerous paintings and attractions.
One of the attractions were of a book, seemingly possessed by magic and mimicking the wings of a bird. Many guests were hovering over this attraction, some even daring to climb over the restrictive red rope just for a photo. Along with the book, there was a watercolor painting, which portrayed two men heading off for a cruise. These two works of art left me in awe, wondering about the time spent to create them.
Upstairs, the previously polished storefront became dilapidated, but messy in an antiquated way. The books are unorganized, but much cheaper than their full price. Through musty old books and newer, contemporary ones, the large selection is bound to have a diamond in the rough for any subject.
Overall, this bookstore is one of the most unique places for photo opportunities in Downtown L.A., a must have for any Instagram feed. The store is large enough to be explored multiple times, and is perfect for anyone interested in inexpensive books and vinyls.
Written by Jacob Khuu, Staff Writer
Photo by Jacob Khuu