Best Bookstore -- Downtown (2012)
It's easy to roll your eyes at the self-righteousness of the name of The Last Bookstore. Cynicism about the state of printed word is all too easy, you may think. But walk past the oversized couches in the ground-floor atrium and head up to the new top floor, where every title is a dollar, and the rooms of books go on and on, some with neat stacks of books on the ground waiting to be shelved, others with books so scattered that it feels like you shouldn't even be allowed to be there. It's such a deluge of volumes that they've made a front desk out of books, a hanging mural out of books, a literal tunnel of books you have to see to believe, a room that's an altar to science fiction books and a book-themed art installation that's a tribute to the printed page. It does begin to feel apocalyptic, as if books from all corners of the world have ended up here for some mysterious purpose via a hidden book faucet. You'll be convinced, if only for a moment, that this could very well be the last bookstore on Earth. 453 S. Spring St., dwntwn. (213) 488-0599, lastbookstorela.com.
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