Los Angeles has a rich and diverse literary landscape. There are a plethora of busy bookstores and a terrific public library system. Some bookstores are specialist and niche and some are prolific stocking all sorts of genres and titles. This means it is fairly easy to get your hands on some interesting reading material wherever you are in this expansive city. For bookworms looking to browse and buy books, here are some of the best bookstores in Los Angeles.
The 7 Best Bookstores in Los Angeles
This cool and hip bookstore is located just off Sunset Boulevard. But as the name suggests, there is a cafe on site too, which pours good coffee and serves fresh food. Out the back is a lovely patio area where people work during the day and it turns into an event space at night. The shop is packed with new and used books with plenty of obscure titles to keep things interesting. The bookstore also hosts regular events like readings, signings and an open mic comedy night.
This North Hollywood bookstore has one of the largest used book collections in the Los Angeles area. Prepare to spend hours here just browsing the packed shelves. The Iliad Bookshop specialises in titles related to arts and literature and has a great selection of graphic novels too. If the bookstore looks familiar, chances are you’ll have seen in featured in the TV shows ‘Storage Wars,’ ‘Up All Night’ and ‘Bottom Feeders‘.
Children’s Book World on West Pico Boulevard in West Los Angeles is a wonderful literary experience for young readers (but adults love it too!). Stocking a multicultural selection of over 80,000 books, Children’s Book World celebrates diversity. Lots of events take place here too with plenty of high-profile authors leading storytimes, mini-concerts and dramatisations. Children’s Book World also takes part in many initiatives that give back to the community and help low-income families access books and other resources.
Housed in a cool abandoned bank in downtown Los Angeles, The Last Bookstore is an iconic, independent bookstore full of character and charm. On the shelves, you’ll find new and used books on all genres with a terrific collection of vintage books and records too. In fact, there are over 250,000 titles in this vast space. Shelves are placed every which way they can be and some books are organised by colour, some not organised at all. This means browsing in The Last Bookstore really does feel like you are on a treasure hunt, and you never know what gems you might find.
Located in the Los Feliz neighbourhood of LA, Skylight Books is a wonderful independent bookshop. The bookcases are filled with a well-curated selection of books and there are plenty of titles by emerging writers and artists. There’s a real community feel here. In the middle of the store is a huge ficus tree underneath the skylight, which brings the outdoors in. The store specialises in fiction but also has an extensive Los Angeles history section. The Arts Arts Annex is where you’ll find art and photography books, graphic novels, a large zine selection and a wide array of magazines.
Opened in 1963, this family-owned bookstore specialises in titles related to the arts, design and architecture. It is, most appropriately, located in the Arts District in downtown Los Angeles. This aesthetically pleasing space has an extensive collection with plenty of stunning coffee table books. Staff are knowledgable and will guide you around the shelves and help you find exactly what you are looking for or they will happily leave you be whilst you spend hours browsing.
7. Book Soup
Situated on Sunset Boulevard in the heart of West Hollywood, Book Soup has a wide selection of books and magazines. This independent Los Angeles bookstore was founded in 1975 and has been a staple of the Sunset Strip ever since. A true treasure trove for book lovers, the shelves are packed floor to ceiling with more than 60,000 titles. A really nice touch is the staff notes stuck to the shelves, which offer recommendations and highlight interesting and exciting books.