If downtown Los Angeles’s Last Bookstore really lived up to its name, we could do a lot worse. It’s been called a bookstore built for Instagram, and it’s easy to see why. Elements like the “book loop” and book tunnel, not to mention the uniquely shaped shelves, displays, artwork, and beautiful mezzanine views, are made for social media.
And the clientele supports that notion. You’re liable to see as many or more tourists as you are locals browsing the shelves. A popular downtown tourist destination, the 22,000-square-foot shop boasts an inventory of more than 250,000 new and used books, with new items coming in daily from customers looking to sell their old volumes. The shop runs an active buy/sell/trade counter and moves anywhere from 1,200 to 1,500 books each day in sales.
The Last Bookstore’s current location is actually its third incarnation. Owner Josh Spencer opened the shop in 2005 in a downtown loft. The current spot is housed in a former bank, hence its massive columns, large doors, and various vaults. A large staging area has been erected on the first level for hosting events, from author talks to political lectures to live music and more.
With so much inventory in a massive, two-story building, you could spend all day in the shop and still not have discovered every nook and cranny – although be sure to check out the Arts & Rare Books Annex and the horror and antique book vaults. As well as the entire self-proclaimed labyrinthine second story, which is also home to the Spring Arts Collective, Gather Yarn Shop, and other vendors.
Bookstore as tourist destination. It’s a notion The Last Bookstore has made into quite a successful reality.
The Last Bookstore is located at 453 South Spring Street, Los Angeles, California. The shop is open Sunday through Thursday, 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. and Friday-Saturday from 10 a.m. to 11 p.m.