Everyone knows that Los Angeles is full of great places to visit and things to do. But did you know that it’s also home to many great independent bookstores? And for the past few years, I’ve been exploring my local bookshops to identify the best Los Angeles bookstores so you know exactly where to go when you visit! Be sure to bookmark this post because I’ll be adding to it from time to time as I discover more great bookstores in LA.
This blog is reader-supported. I earn a small commission from affiliate links in this post when you click on the link (at no cost to you). As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. For more information, visit my legal page.
The Last Bookstore
Area: Downtown Los Angeles
Nearby Attractions: Grand Central Market, Disney Concert Music Hall, Grammy Museum, Angel’s Flight, The Broad, MOCA
Address: 453 S Spring St Ground Floor, Los Angeles, CA 90013
By far the mecca of Los Angeles bookstores, The Last Bookstore is home to thousands of books, both new and used. It’s also home to vinyl, comic books, a yarn shop, arts and crafts vendors, and rare vintage books. Housed in an early 20th-century bank, the bookshop feels more like a maze at times, so it’s definitely somewhere you’ll want to spend a few hours exploring and searching for the perfect book. Rumor has it, the Last Bookstore is the largest in California, with over 22,000 sq feet of books! You’ll want to bring your camera for a few selfies in the famous book tunnel! Be sure to walk a few blocks to Grand Central Market to enjoy some of the tastiest food stalls and take a ride on the iconic Angels Flight!
The Lost Bookstore
Nearby Attractions: Descanso Gardens, hiking in Deukmejian Wilderness Park
Address: 2233 Honolulu Ave, Montrose, CA 91020
The sister store of The Last Bookstore, the Lost Bookstore is a hipster book lover’s paradise. Walk through a tunnel of live plants and enter the maze of plants, books, and artistic home goods; bottom line, if you’re a plant lover, you will want to visit this Instagram-ready bookshop. I fell hard for Montrose and for The Lost Bookstore, so much so that we are searching for a place to buy there! Located in the heart of main street Montrose, The Lost Bookstore feels more like a slice of Lost Americana. Enjoy a quick stroll along Honolulu Ave before grabbing a bite at one of the many cafes dotting the sidewalks. But be prepared to wait!
Nearby Attractions: Shopping in Old Town, Norton Simon Museum, The Gamble House, hiking Eaton Canyon, Rose Bowl Flea Market
Address: 695 E. Colorado Blvd. Pasadena, CA 91101
Vroman’s Bookstore is an institution in Los Angeles, and any local book lover will tell you that it’s the place to go! History is everywhere in this famous bookstore, which first opened in 1894! The website boasts Vroman’s is the oldest and largest independent bookstore in California, and one visit will convince you it’s true. There are tons of events including lots of author readings with famous authors! And even if you can’t make it to an event, there’s a wine bar inside that will more than make up for anything you miss. But don’t worry, there are plenty of other great things to do in Pasadena’s Old Town which is just a short walk away.
Area: Santa Monica
Nearby Attractions: Santa Monica Pier, Santa Monica State Beach, Pacific Palisades Park, shopping Third Street Promenade, Marvin Braude Bike Trail
Address: 1113 Montana Ave, Santa Monica, CA 90403
Small but mighty Zibby’s Bookshop is the newest bookshop on my list of the best bookstores in Los Angeles. Owned by author Zibby Owens, this cute little bookstore is full of contemporary fiction, romance novels, and bestsellers. The selections are highly curated with tons of staff picks, which I always appreciate. Best of all, there’s a cute little mural outside perfect for post-purchase pics before you stroll Montana Ave, my favorite area of Santa Monica.
Area: Los Feliz
Nearby Attractions: Griffith Observatory, hiking Griffith Park, Hollywood sign, shopping on Sunset Blvd, Hollyhock House
Address: 1818 N Vermont Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90027
Skylight Books is my local bookstore, and I usually venture here for gifts when I can. Located in the heart of Los Feliz, one of the hippest Eastside Los Angeles neighborhoods, Skylight is an intellectual booklover’s dream. With tons of staff picks, BIPOC and indigenous authors, and influential literary fiction titles, this bookstore is perfect for any reader looking to expand their horizons and diversify their reading. And when you’re done shopping, be sure to find a spot to eat on Vermont in one of the local cafes and restaurants, including The Dresden, a Los Angeles institution. And travelers on a budget should not miss Eastside Italian Deli, our favorite local sandwich shop!
The Ripped Bodice
Area: Culver City
Nearby Attractions: Baldwin Hills Scenic Overlook, Kenneth Hahn State Recreation Area, Venice Beach, Venice Canals, Wende Museum, Sony Pictures Studio Tour
Address: 3806 Main St, Culver City, CA 90232
Romance readers rejoice! The Ripped Bodice is your sanctuary! Los Angeles’ only romance-only bookstore is charming and definitely worth a visit. I don’t read a lot of romance, but I appreciate that they have something for everyone in this woman-owned LGBTQIA-friendly bookstore! The selection is well-organized and curated based on themes and tropes, so be ready to explore when you visit. And this sexy little bookstore is located in one of the sexiest spots in Los Angeles that you’ll never hear about-Culver City. With tons of places to shop, eat, and play, Downtown Culver City is a must-hang spot for anyone who wants a slice of the real LA scene. Drinks at the historic Culver Hotel is my favorite!
@shesbecomingbookish Come with me to visit @TheRippedBodice in Culver City, one of my favorite areas in Los Angeles! This romance-only bookstore has something for everyone! #independentbookstore #therippedbodice #cutebookstore #bookshopsoftiktok #booktok #bookstoresoftiktok ♬ Dreams – The Cranberries
Nearby Attractions: The Getty Center, Brentwood Farmers Market, West Hollywood, Westfield Century City, Hammer Museum
Address: 225 26th St Suite 33, Santa Monica, CA 90402
This bookstore is an unsung hero located in a must-visit shopping center, so be sure to pay attention! Diesel Bookstore in Brentwood Country Mart is the perfect place to spend a few hours shopping, dining, and celebrity-sighting. This small shop packs a big punch with something for every reader, even children! I love bringing visitors to Brentwood Country Mart, and every time I go I shop at Diesel Bookstore for a new book.
@shesbecomingbookish Touring a local independent bookstore! @DIESELbookstore #bookstoresoftiktok #independentbookstore #bookshopping #booktok #bookish ♬ LIMITS THE SKY – Mpax
Area: Larchmont Village
Nearby Attractions: Los Angeles County Museum of Art/LACMA, La Brea Tar Pits, Hollywood Walk of Fame, TCL Chinese Theater, The Original Farmer’s Market, shopping at The Grove, shopping on Melrose Ave, Melrose Flea Market
Address: 133 N Larchmont Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90004
Last but certainly not least is Chevalier’s Books in Larchmont Village. I stumbled onto this cute little shop when I met up with friends for lunch at nearby Great White (highly recommend). Opened in 1940, Chevalier’s is the oldest indie bookstore in the city of Los Angeles, which deserves some respect for sure. I was blown away by the quality of the shop’s selection and the staff picks, not to mention the cute store merch that I very nearly bought (next time). Be sure to time your visit with the weekly farmer’s market to get the full Los Angeles experience!
Stay Tuned for More Los Angeles Bookstores
I am always exploring new areas of the city and new bookstores, so be sure to bookmark this post for future reference. And be sure to leave me a comment below if there’s a bookstore in the Los Angeles area that you recommend. My shelves and my TBR may not thank you, but I sure will!
Before You Go
If you enjoyed this post, then be sure to sign up for my email newsletter where I share updates about the latest reading wrap-ups and blog posts, must-see book deals, and my What This Week series! If email isn’t your thing, head to Bookstagram to follow along for all the bookish fun!