The Last Bookstore, Los Angeles
So many prior trips to LA, and I can't believe I had missed out on this gem all these years. Even during the first visit, The Last Bookstore is like a well worn sweatshirt cocoon that envelops you in warmth as soon as you walk in. Taking my time as I always do at bookstores, I made my way through my favorite sections on the ground floor: fiction, classics and poetry. Next stop, the artists studios on the 2nd floor, and a walk past the kids taking prom with bookshelf backdrops. Eventually I ended up in 3rd floor "labyrinth" which houses the travel books (surprise) and is a quieter part of the store. Many other wannabe hermits like moi sat reading on the well used couches there and felt like I was home instantly. Taking my time to look through I found exactly what would be coming home with me today.
My last stop was the achieves on the group floor, right by where you enter the store. A beautiful tall wall stacked with art from floor to ceiling to your right when you enter, this room houses some of the most valuable pieces of cartography and old books.
At check out I stood behind a couple of people, and behind me stood one father who had brought in his son to pick out their month's books. Tired after a long stroll through the bookstore, the young boy was at the edge of throwing a fit until the busy man (who was singlehandedly handing the checkout for everyone on the line btw) picked up on the fact that kid was being cranky and started an animated discussion with the boy asking if he has a mortgage, and if not - what is there really to worry about? The conversation continued until everyone in the line, including the baby boy, was smiling ear to ear. Ultimately what makes a good bookstore a GREAT bookstore is the people who work there, and The Last Bookstore seems to have some of the best employees I have met at a bookstore in a long, long time. And I am not saying this just because they gave me a 2 dollar discount when I brought it to their attention that the front page of my book was slightly coming off the binding.
I will be back here every time I come back to LA now. And any bibliophiles even in / around LA should definitely too!