Are your local Barnes and Nobles bookstores either closing or overrun with computer-fixated patrons? Are you a little too dependent upon your Amazon wish list? We might have the perfect http://www.thefamilysavvy.com/2014/01/the-last-bookstore/ to modern book malaise: a cavernous and strangely beautiful bookstore that reminds us that the best way to find a good book is to literally stumble across it. As if torn from the pages of a Lemony Snicket novel, The Last Bookstore combines old fashioned randomness with whimsical set design worthy of a Harry Potter movie.
You’ve probably seen this image before, gracing the pages of articles about DTLA. It’s the show-stopping sight — a tunnel of books — just one element of the store’s signature feature: a Book Labyrinth. We had never heard of a book labyrinth before but, upon reflection, it offers as fine a way to find something to read as any other – getting lost is the best way to find a book.
The tunnel is only one of many wondrous visions that make up DTLA’s The Last Bookstore. There is an exploding bookcase, a hole in a shelf full of Bond novels, a piano that spits music into the air, a row of artists’ studios, and even a knit cafe. The bookstore, on the corner of 4th and Spring, is dedicated to reading, and created by clever folks who believe that all who enter here should remain curious. We investigated a “true crime dungeon,” paged through old mystery titles, and were charmed and seduced by sections with books sorted by color (rather than subject or author).
You can spend as much time as you like perusing — page through some vinyl, cruise through comic books, or perhaps even participate in one of several craft activities upstairs, where a few artists have open studios. Your kids can even find a book here. There’s no pressure to buy, and the place is full of contented folks who are “just-looking” and many books are priced at $1.
Most of all, it’s just fun to wander about with other book lovers – your nose full of a familiar, dusty old-paper smell, and your creative juices sparked by the unusual layout and attitude of this book paradise.
Don’t miss this silly sculpture that graces the lobby of The Last Bookstore’s Spring Street building – a plain piano that displays an exploded musical score . (Nice piano bench, too!).