Ever since the rise of online shopping, book stores nationwide have vanished. However, there a still a few bookstores that managed to survive. Here are three independent bookstores that are not only surviving, but thriving in an era of online endeavors.
The Last Bookstore
453 S Spring St.
Los Angeles, CA 90013
In the depths of one of the most crowded places in California, The Last Bookstore serves as a major tourist attraction of downtown Los Angeles. With cheap, affordable books filling every inch of beige walls, the selection is endless and far beyond what the eyes can see.
With features like stacked books defying gravity to form a tunnel, and papers in mid-air flying over the piano as if time has stopped, there are countless artsy sculptures and arrangements that beg for the eyes of a photographer. How often do people take pictures of a bookstore?
And it’s not only books. The variety is executed in a broad domain that ranges from used books, to vintage vinyls, all the way to graphic novels. It’s the Taj Mahal of all palaces. The Smithsonian of all museums. It’s a one of a kind sight. One does not need to be a book enthusiast, or even like reading for that matter, to develop the indisputable initiative to get in a car and take a quick road trip to best and, apparently last, bookstore.
126 N. Larchmont Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA, 90004
Located in the middle of the cultural hub that is North Larchmont, Chevalier’s Books is one of the most underrated of the few remaining book stores in Los Angeles. Since 1940, this diamond in the rough has sold a variety of books in its quiet hideaway in Windsor Square. It even recently renovated its store to charming perfection.
But Chevalier’s doesn’t only offer books. The quaint shop also boasts book readings, signings, kid’s story times and sing-alongs and book club meetups. Going above and beyond the usual bookstore quota, Chevalier’s has become a favorite among locals.
“I love this place. There’s something so friendly about it. I come here almost every week with my husband Robert and buy a few books. It’s nice to have a place where you can still physically buy them,” Larchmont resident Sarah Folger said.
8818 Sunset Blvd.
West Hollywood, CA 90069
Of all of the remaining book stores in Los Angeles, Book Soup is truly one of the most iconic and revered. Founded 40 years ago, Book Soup has become one of the remaining few independent stores who have not only survived but thrived in the age of online shopping. In face, Book Soup has been declared the largest independent bookstore in the Hollywood area, according to Publishers Weekly.
From the outside, Book Soup appears to be an ordinary store; however, when one steps inside, they are immediately struck by the stacks and stacks of writing there is throughout the tiny store. One way that Book Soup continues to draw an audience is through their book recommendations. Online and in-store, Book Soup employees constantly recommend books that might not make it into the limelight by themselves.
Book Soup prospers as an independent bookstore because of its ability to take advantage of the fact that it’s not solely online. The store has a minimum of four events per week to keep customers returning.
Book Soup will continue to flourish regardless of the obstacles that may seem to cripple other brick and mortar book stores because of its innovative and intriguing ways to captivate an audience.