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Ask A Concierge / California

Ask A Concierge: The Last of LA’s Great Bookstores

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Bookstores are a dying breed within the U.S., and it is no different in Los Angeles. Even though it is getting harder to find a local shop where you can escape and stumble on a new book, luckily there are still a few stores thriving in this changing landscape. These bookstores have become destinations and are successful because they are independent and cool with a faithful, supportive clientele.


If you find yourself in the Los Angeles area, do something unique and check out one of these incredible shops.

Book Soup

Book Soup is the largest general interest bookstore in Hollywood. Conveniently located in the middle of the famous Sunset Strip, it’s known for floor-to-ceiling bookshelves packed full of titles from popular to the unique. Founded in 1975, this store is a Hollywood hotspot, hosting a variety of readings and events. It has a magazine and newsstand out front, where it is not uncommon to spot a celebrity or two browsing the shelves.

Samuel French Theatre and Film Bookshop

One of two locations left in the world (the other is in London), The Samuel French Bookshop in Hollywood is a store dedicated to film- and theater-related books, journals, and magazines. It is one of the longest-running bookstores of its kind. For most aspiring actors and directors in Hollywood, The Samuel French Bookshop is often their second home. This is the oldest film and theater bookstore in Los Angeles. It’s been in business for over 65 years, and is undeniably a Hollywood institution.

The Last Bookstore

The Last Bookstore is one of the most iconic bookstores in LA, known for its book archways and stunning interior. It is also California’s largest used and new book and record store. Relatively new on the book scene, The Last Bookstore began in 2005 in a downtown Los Angeles loft. The ironic name was chosen to reflect the dying nature of bookstores—but luckily enough, the store has done increasingly well over the years. In addition to over 250,000 new and used books filling up two floors, it also sells thousands of vinyl records and comic books. Be sure to bring a camera as this will surely be one of the most visually interesting bookstores you’ll ever find.

Let us know if you make it to one of these stores! If you do, what book (or books) did you buy?

For more insider tips from hotel concierge Sarah Dandashy, check out:

By Sarah Dandashy and Nino Gordeli for PeterGreenberg.com. You can watch her other videos for travel tips & tricks at AskAConcierge.tv.

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