Our family loves spring break. It’s a great time for a new family adventure. But since we moved from Atlanta to Wisconsin in 2016, we also see it as a way to prevent ourselves from going all The Shining after months and months of winter. Florida is our go-to spot for spring sunshine. But this year we decided to try something new. Something west-er.
This year we took our first family trip to California. We flew to Los Angeles and spent a week exploring Southern California. Which conjures images of beaches, Hollywood and amusement parks. Sure, we did all of those things. But we also scheduled a stop at a bookstore. But not just any bookstore. The Last Bookstore.
On visiting The Last Bookstore…
When we started planning our trip we looked for interesting things to do with families in Los Angeles. That’s when we learned about this fascinating bookstore. All used bookstores are fun to explore, because they are like treasure hunts. But here, the store itself is as interesting as the stories it contains.
I started my exploration by visiting the collectible book room, which is in a huge, old vault. This only adds to the feeling that you are finding literary treasures.
As I continued to wander this non-fiction playhouse, I found flying books, and a typewriter generating the next great novel. There is a book tunnel that feels like the passage through the wardrobe, on your way to find the lion and the witch. I half-expected it to start snowing as I passed through it.
Novel Blue and Read-Me Red
I was inspired by the collection of decorative books (for $1.99 each) that were arranged by color, so you could design your shelves with the color, or colors, of your choice.
Books, Books, Everywhere Books!
This 22,000 square feet, 2-story marvel is packed with books. They claim it is the largest used and new book and record shop in California. We didn’t have time to measure every store in Cali. So we will assume this is true. The checkout counter was made of books. Even the toilets are built out of books! (I’m just kidding about the toilets. But this place is so farfetched that seems plausible.)
Bring Your Camera.
Other bookstores have signs telling you and George Costanza not to take books into the bathroom. But this store packs such great photo opportunities that there are gentle reminders that other people will want to take pictures too.
I absolutely loved this place. I would choose to bring my family here over the Hollywood Walk of Fame any day.
First, this is no ordinary bookstore. This place makes you feel a sense of wonder like never before. Let me set the stage for you. From the outside the building looks like your average high-ceiling store with apartments on top. But like a book, you can’t judge it by its cover (#bestanalogyever). They had about 1000 shelves full of books! So we started looking around.
First, we went into a room in the corner of the store and it looked like a library in a house. A wealthy house. It was so mystical and mysterious it made me feel as if I were a part of some action-packed mystery! (I even tried moving the books as if I were opening a latch to another secret room).
After that, me and my family started looking at their endless supply of books. I got the 2nd and 3rd books in the series, A Series of Unfortunate Events.
After we picked out our books I decided to go on an adventure. I found a staircase to the second floor, so I walk there, AND I END UP WALKING INTO MR. MORRIS LESSMORE’S LIBRARY!!! If you don’t know what that is, it’s a really cute short film. Here’s the link.
I started walking down a hallway. It looked like an art gallery. But as I kept going, I turned a corner and found a whole new secret room! I explored that room, and the room after that, and so on. I must have seen at least a million books in that store.
I will never forget how the store manages to make you feel like a part of a story within its walls. When you’re reading anything from murder mysteries to romantic novels here, this store makes you feel as if you are inside the story. If you ever go to California, this store is a place you have to go. It’ll give you an experience you will never forget.
Have you been to The Last Bookstore, or want to go now? We’d love to hear from you. If you know of another great bookstore we should visit please share! And if you’d like to hear more of our favorite things, consider subscribing to this blog.
The story behind The Last Book Store is even cooler than the store itself. Watch the video below to see.