downtown los angeles
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“The Last Bookstore in Los Angeles” Re-Opens in 10,000 SF Space in Downtown LA

The new bookstore sits inside a space that was once used by a historic bank

The Last Bookstore in LA, an independent bookstore started by Josh Spencer, had its grand re-opening this past Friday (June 3) in its new 10,000 square foot space in the Spring Arts Tower located at the corner of 5th/Spring. The bookstore had relocated from just down the street from a much smaller retail space of only 970 square feet.

The Last Bookstore in LA adds a substantial presence to this corner in LA’s burgeoning historic core where an impressive number of new independent businesses have opened in the past several years serving a growing population of urban dwellers in Los Angeles. The bookstore contributes to a diversifying array of new retail and restaurant options, helping to transform this once forlorn section of LA back to a vibrant urban center.

The interior space of the bookstore maintains many of the beautiful original architectural details from the time when the Spring Arts Tower (built in 1914) was a banking center called Citizens Bank. The ornate ceiling and soaring white columns give the bookstore a stimulating space to browse/buy titles and also provides a refreshing sense of authenticity that is sorely lacking in the run-of-the-mill mega-chains.

My hope is that as more and more spaces are filled-in on Spring St by high-quality businesses, like this wonderful bookstore, then demand will spawn new businesses to open on Broadway, which is truly the grandest street in all of Los Angeles.

A flier posted on the front door announces the grand re-opening of The Last Bookstore in LA

The bookstore entrance is located on 5th St in LA's Historic Core

The cashier as one enters the bookstore

Shopping baskets supported by a vintage Singer sewing machine table

The collection of books offered will continue to grow based on local demand

A variety of book titles and subjects are available

Drama

Poetry

Science, Nature, Math, and Business

Young Adult and Children's

Art

Los Angeles History

Book subjects of all variety offered at The Last Bookstore in Los Angeles

The ceiling and white columns are original architectural details of the historic Spring Arts Tower built in 1914

Store display from inside

The Last Bookstore in LA store window display

The Last Bookstore in Los Angeles store window display

13 Comments

  1. Very cool. As media becomes increasingly digital, and as sales move online, perhaps a reverse of the mega-store trend will occure. Perhaps only the independent bookstores, who are better able to localize and specialize, will be able to survive.

  2. Ty says

    Dude, THANKS for posting this. I’m an employee in the Civic Center area and I was completely unaware of this bookstore’s existence. I, along with several of my co-workers, will be visiiting ASAP!. BTW, the space is fantastic!

  3. 2,000 new art books for sale on Art Walk! The Last Bookstore, which just moved and expanded into a 10,000 sq ft space in the Ground Floor of the Spring Arts Tower at 5th & Spring, will release 2000 new heavily discounted art and architecture books Thursday June 8th for Art Walk. Five live bands are playing, starting at 7 pm. Store opens at 10 AM & closes at midnight.

  4. Zack says

    This place is a cool place and space. But nothing is cool about how this store is using/abusing its non profit to supply and fund this store. If people start asking and researching how they get all their books. They would realize that their non profit Booksforpeople.org is the source of all their books. They leverage their non profit to collect books from libraries and people donating their free books not realizing that they are going to a for profit store. The best or most valuable books are sold online on multiple amazon accounts like “happy customers” that has over 17,000 listings and a warehouse that has 100,000 books! Plus the 10,000 sq ft. book store! While the booksforpeople.org gets hardly any listings and the cheap books. This is so wrong on many levels. Yeah, great store but because the fraudulently leverage a non profit for personal gain. Not cool! Don’t support this store! They should be shut down for being dishonest for so long!!

    • The poster “Zack” is misinformed. The Last Bookstore is proud to have several programs that support local nonprofits. It fund-raises for non-profits such as Friends of the Library, Books for People, thrift shops, etc. by purchasing a small portion of donations for more than the nonprofit can sell them for. The Last Bookstore receives no donations for “free,” but in fact purchases nearly 20,000 books per month through its store, home visits, and fundraising partnerships with multiple nonprofits. The allegations made by “Zack” are false and inaccurate.

  5. Dennis says

    I went in last night to take a quick look and walk around, and I ended up spending almost 2 hours. This place is fantastic! It’s so nice to see the neighborhood steadily coming back to life. It just keeps getting better and better.

  6. Josh has been buying books from me for more than 7 years, and always pays a fair price….that is, more than I could get at a yard or garage or apt. sale. Some of my books he re-sells online or in his store for a profit. Good for him!!! Some he puts in sales that donate to charities. Even better! Josh, keep up the great work. Your new store is an awesome addition to the Downtown L.A. scene, and your charity work is outstanding. You are an amazing guy and my hat is off to you! I’ll be there often!

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