This summer, I spent a lot of time in downtown LA because of the three week-long creative writing class I took. After I became friends with my classmates, we hung out and explored downtown. It was a lot of fun.
One of the discoveries I made with my friends is a book store called The Last Book Store. The Last Bookstore is a used book store near Pershing Square at 453 S. Spring Street. It’s not in the absolute safest of areas and definitely has some shady characters hanging around. I would not recommend going there alone at night. In keeping with the shadiness of the area, when you first enter the book store, there is a security guard sitting at a desk in the foyer. I definitely felt safer seeing him there.
Once you step past the foyer and into the actual store, your first impression will be a big “wow.” The Last Book Store used to be an old bank that has been closed for decades. It occupies two floors of the building. It still has the beautiful original art deco ceiling, balconies and mezzanines of the old bank.
The books on the first floor are organized by categories, a lot like those of a regular bookstore. It’s a good place to look for required reading books for school at extremely low prices: most of the books here are $4-6, and a lot of them are in great condition. The first floor also has some nice sofas to lounge on while taking a look at some of the books.
|Some antiques in stores off the second floor.|
The second floor, however, is not as neatly organized, but it’s definitely a treasure. The shelves are piled high with books of all genres—perhaps not in the nicest conditions—but don’t count them out just because they’re not as nice as the books on the first floor. The books on the second floor are literally $1 each. Isn’t that incredible? It’s almost that the books are organized randomly, because it really forces you to take a look at books of all genres. The second floor is also home to the Vault of Horror and True Crime, which is literally an old bank vault filled with—you guessed it—horror and true crime books.
Next time you’re visiting downtown LA, be sure to check out this great store. Or, if you’re not in LA but in the area, try taking the metro—maybe you’ll find other hidden treasures.