Although Amazon has made purchasing books as easy as the literal click of a button, nothing quite replaces the kid-in-a-candy-store feeling any avid bookworm feels upon entering a bookstore—especially independent bookstores with unique character that capture the local essence of their communities. If your book supply is running low or you want to venture into a new part of town in the name of great literature, check out this list of six awesome, independently-run bookstores in various neighborhoods of the Greater Los Angeles area!
1. Skylight Books
(Courtesy of Time Out)
Located on Vermont Ave in LA’s Los Feliz neighborhood, Skylight Books is a must for any Angeleno fond of literature, poetry, art, or photography. The space is well-lit, fun, and get this—there’s a tree growing right in the middle of the store. They carry a vast collection of classic reads and contemporary works, and just a few stores down, have a separately housed space especially for art, photography, graphic novels, and music industry books and biographies. They also feature readings, events, and a host of fun neighborhood happenings!
Address: 1818 N. Vermont Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90027
2. Vroman’s Bookstore
(Courtesy of Los Angeles Magazine)
Vroman’s Bookstore holds the name of being Southern California’s oldest and largest independent bookstore, and there’s no question as to why the shop has remained so dear to loyal fans for decades. Located just east of Pasadena’s bustling Old Town, Vroman’s is a large, two-story building with a plethora of books, cute little knickknacks, gifts, and stationary. There’s also an in-house Jones Coffee Roasters, an independent espresso bar that grows its own beans and makes delicious brews.
Address: 695 E. Colorado Boulevard, Pasadena, CA 91101
3. Alias Books East
(Courtesy of Alias Books East)
If you’re a fan of special edition or out of print titles, or appreciate a minimal but tastefully curated collection of various works, be sure to visit Alias Books East, a used books store in LA’s eccentric Atwater Village. The shop boasts a lot of rarities, and is neatly organized into categories, such as fiction, poetry, history, psychology, spirituality, cinema, and more.
Address: 3163 Glendale Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90039
4. Alias Books
(Courtesy of Alias Books)
Since we mentioned Alias Books East, we have to include its original, older counterpart, Alias Books, located near UCLA in the Sawtelle area. Alias Books is a much larger, expansive version of Alias Books East, and also buys and sells rare and unique used books emphasizing various genres. They carry a wide collection of books covering art, literature, academic subjects, and much more. The store has a very homey, cozy feel with its rugs, wooden furniture, and comfortable chairs—definitely a great atmosphere for spending a few hours getting lost amidst the literature.
Address: 1650 Sawtelle Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90025
5. The Iliad
(Courtesy of Amoeba Music)
With a name like The Iliad, you’d expect this bookstore to be epic—and it sure is. Located near the North Hollywood arts district, The Iliad is one of the largest used bookstores in the greater LA area, and it has a huge collection of reads. Our favorite part of this bookshop, you ask? The cats—anytime during operational hours, come in and mingle with the furry feline friends of the store. What more could you possibly want from a bookshop?
Address: 5400 Cahuenga Boulevard, North Hollywood, CA 91601
6. The Last Bookstore
(Courtesy of Lived Out Loud LA)
If there was a literary amusement park or museum in all of Southern California, it would undoubtedly be The Last Bookstore—the state’s largest used and new book store. Housed in a huge, double-story space right in the middle of Downtown LA, the Last Bookstore has everything a bookworm or culture junkie could possibly want—literature, music, giftware, art exhibitions, and a tunnel constructed of books. The store is colorful, fun, and captivating, and you’ll definitely need many hours to cover the whole grounds.
Address: 453 S. Spring Street, Los Angeles, CA 90013