NEW SERIES! As you may or may not know, I was working in L.A. this summer, and I made it a priority to visit some bookish places (how could I not, really–those are the best places ;)) in my free time. I’m so excited to share some of my favorite spots with you all, and I hope to continue doing this for the other places I find myself in throughout my college career (hopefully that’ll be a lot?! We shall see…). Now, without further ado, here’s a selection of my favorite literary locations in Los Angeles, California:
1. The Last Bookstore
This one probably isn’t a surprise, but I had to include it because it’s honestly the most amazing bookstore I’ve ever been in. I had gone in with high expectations after all of the hype around it, and somehow even those expectations were exceeded. Not only is it unbelievably aesthetic (it has BOOK SCULPTURES), it also has dozens of comfy places to sit down and read, a huge collection of books, and books that are both used and new (= reasonable prices!). Walking around, I saw signs for multiple book clubs the store hosts, catered for various literary interests, and the top floor featured a book tunnel, the classic Instagram photo spot, and a few small specialty stores selling cute pins and stationary. There were also these adorable secluded rooms throughout the store dedicated to specific genres and themes, and the entire place was so well decorated it took my breath away. It’s not the most convenient place to get to, especially because of the limited parking, but it is most definitely worth the visit.
2. Barnes & Noble at the Grove
This is by far the nicest Barnes & Noble I’ve ever been to. It’s three levels, and has the largest selection of books and book-related items I’ve seen. The selection of YA is insane, and I could (and did) spend hours wandering the shelves in search of my old favorites and new conquests. Not to mention the impressive collection of journals and other literary items like Harry Potter merchandise, music, games, candles, and bookmarks. There’s something at this bookstore for everyone, and its location in one of the most popular shopping destinations is only a plus since it attracts lots of visiting authors and literary events!
3. West Hollywood Library
WOW, this library is AMAZING. The architecture is stunningly modern, and it was such a fun place to walk around in. The teen section (at least, the collection of books in it) could use a little work because it wasn’t nearly as big as I had hoped, but the children’s section was huge and even had a stage room attached for readings and other performances. The entire place is lined with desks and chairs for studying, and there were so many comfy reading chairs lining the walls, which were floor to ceiling windows looking out onto the beautiful Pacific Design Center. This isn’t a place I would go to get work done, since the WiFi access is restricted to those who have an LAPL card, but it’s perfect if you want to explore the library itself and maybe sit down with a good book in a unique reading spot!
4. The Hollywood Walk of Fame
This one’s for those of you traveling with people who may not want to go out of their way to visit literary attractions in the “City of Stars.” Don’t worry! You can go to The Walk of Fame–on of, if not THE, most tourist-y spots in L.A., and find some hidden literary(ish) treasures! The most relevant attraction is The Chinese Theater–the concrete in front is covered by slabs of cement actors and actresses have stamped their hands into. You can find the casts of Harry Potter, The Hunger Games, and Star Wars (not technically a book to movie, but I had to include it, sorry), and compare your hand/foot prints with theirs (I definitely did–I would like to note that my hands are about the same size as Emma Watson’s). Another fun place near the theater is the Muji store. Again, not explicitly book-related, but if you’re a writer or just love stationary, Muji is the place to go. They have the best (in my opinion) collection of pens and notebooks I’ve ever seen, and your companions who aren’t big stationary connoisseurs can check out the other parts of the store while you have fun experimenting with pens and checking out the ninety-nine different kinds of notebooks on the shelves.
5. Universal Studios City Walk
This is another attraction that your non-literary friends will most likely enjoy visiting as well. Although not outright book-focused, if you’re a Harry Potter fan, there is A LOT of HP merchandise available on the Universal Studios City Walk. I enjoyed going to some of the stores and walking through the HP sections, appreciating the sheer variety of items available and freaking out over almost all of them (even though they were all quite overpriced). Also, the City Walk is just a fun place to walk around, grab some food, talk to friends, and window-shop at stores selling a unique assortment of items you don’t normally find anywhere else.
I didn’t go to as many literary places as I had planned during my time in L.A. (mostly on account of the intimidating parking situations and annoyingly exhausting hot weather), but I had a great time at the ones I WAS able to visit and am excited to go back and visit others in the future (namely, the Los Angeles Central Library, the Barnes and Noble in Studio City, and some of the independent bookstores in the city).
Have you been to any of the places I mentioned above? Are there places you want to visit in L.A. or favorite places you have visited there? Let me know down below!
Thank you so much for reading and see you (hopefully) soon with another one of these! Have a wonderful week 🙂