The Last Bookstore

Imagine a world where libraries and bookstores no longer exist. Presently we have the ability to purchase e-books online and carry them in our smart device.  Don’t get me wrong I like the ability to store thousands of books in the palm of my hand but there is something magical about holding a book. I love turning the pages as the story plot thickens. I love the book covers. I can’t imagine how many art cover redoes took place before the final cover was approved. I love how books look at home.  I can’t imagine a world without physical books. Will this be our future?

I remember going to Borders to hang out. No, it is not the U.S. Border. Borders was a big bookstore chain in competition with centuries old Barnes and Noble. It filed bankruptcy after declining books sales and poor investment choices. Digital was the new era and Barnes and Nobel knew it when they focus on developing The Nook. I had a Barnes and Noble nearby but I would drive out of my way to Borders.  Somehow Borders had more of a community feel to it.  I enjoyed sitting on the couches, chairs and benches scattered all over the store glancing through the pages of a brand new book.

With Borders gone I was forced to go to Barnes and Noble.  At least it’s a bookstore.  I still wonder how long before this giant also goes out of business.  What will we have left?  Amazon? I have been looking for a bookstore in which I can hang out again.  When I heard about The Last Bookstore I became excited.

Josh Spencer is the owner of the Last Bookstore in Los Angeles. Check out his story, click on the video below. 

Pre-Adventure

I think it’s going to be exactly how it is in the video and website. I imagine it being big, homey and fun.  I imagine seeing book sculptures all over the store.  Can’s wait to visit this place.

The Experience

It was a Sunday morning and I was visiting my family in Los Angeles. The kids look bored and I was itching to explore some place new in LA. I decided to take my nieces and nephews to the Last Book Store. Some were excited to see this cool place while others didn’t seem excited to see books.

Parking was easy if you pay for it. I was not going to waste my limited time looking for a parking space and then feed the meter every so often although I did not check if payment is required on Sundays.

Entrance to The Last Bookstore

When you first enter there is a long desk to the left. We were asked to check in our bags and backpacks. As we entered we notice so many interesting decor on the walls, tables and bookcases. We decided to first explore the second floor first. Everywhere you look there was always something to see.

I notice that many came to this place to take photos not to buy books. There was a photographer photographing a young woman dressed in a school uniform holding a book while she sat next to a window pretending to read the book. Everyone took photos in the book tunnel and the shelf of books with a round circle in the middle. Of course we had to take photos too.

The more we explored the more things we found. The horror, mystery and true crime was located in a bank volt. There was also a room with first edition books also in a bank volt. I was however disappointed on the travel section. I wanted to see if I could find more books on California but the majority of the books were traveling the world not local travel. I did however found a book that sparked my interest.

The top floor also had a area where vendors sold their goods to perspective buyers. They were selling art pieces, paintings, old cameras, antique decor and stationary. Unfortunately most stores were closed when we visited.

After exploring the books store I asked the kids if they found any book they would like to take home. One of my nephews found his book in the horror volt, it was a Steven King book. My niece who dislikes reading found a baking book and promised she would bake something for me. My youngest nephew bought an old Betty Cracker book which turned out that they already had at home. As for me I boot my travel writing book.

As I was standing in line to pay for the books, a young friendly cashier woman took me out of line to this other room full of books and picture frames to help me with my transaction. While in that room we started to look around and found this glass display with books of all sizes. Each book on display had a price tag. We first found the $300 book, we got curious and the kids started to look for the most expensive book they could find. They found Miscellanies in Prose and Verse by Caption Morris which cost $3,000! Of course we are not avid readers or book experts so we were happy we didn’t pay thousands for our books.

Overall the experience was fun and educational. I will return to this place to see what else I missed. Maybe there will be more books on California.

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