8 L.A. Stores for Alternative Valentine's Day Gifts

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Sat, Feb 9, 2013 at 8:00 AM

click to enlarge World 8 lets you find an epic item for your gaming lover
  • World 8 lets you find an epic item for your gaming lover
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"You always buy me the same shit."

If you haven't heard that before, consider yourself amongst the lucky lovers whose significant others keep their thoughts to themselves. That one year your girlfriend ooh-ed and aww-ed over the flowers and cleverly-packaged chocolates you gave her? She might have been faking it.

And even if your babe likes getting classic gifts for Valentine's day, it couldn't hurt you to maybe think outside the box when it comes to cute trinkets. Especially if you're looking to conquer a new beau. It's like a wise man once said: the more creative you are, the higher your chances of getting laid. Or something like that.

So hop in your love mobile and hit up Los Angeles' more cooky shopping spots for gifts that will make your Valentine's Day less lame.

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8. Books Upon Books Upon Books: The Last Bookstore

While the rest of Downtown focuses on the new and trendy, The Last Bookstore pays homage to a simpler time when people kept their noses in books, not Nooks. The two-story locale gives bookworms and record fiends a safe haven for their misunderstood passions and proves a treasure trove for alternative Valentine's Day gifts. When you venture upstairs, a sign at the entrance encourages you to take a box and fill it with whatever your heart desires from shelves brimming with $1 books. Cookbooks, romance novels, parenting books (not for a first date), travel guides, sci-fi finds and more mean you can surely find something for your bookworm lover. Grab a box, fill it, wrap it and voila -- you've got yourself a retro, DIY, hipster gift you can spin any way you want. If your lover doesn't get it, simply retort: at least I didn't buy you flowers. 453 S. Spring St., Dwntwn.

7. Let's Get Analogue: Lomography Gallery Store Los Angeles

If your boo can't get enough of the retro filters on Instagram and finds film photos way cooler than digital ones, see just how much they mean it by buying them an actual film camera. Lomography LA brings analogue photography back to life with enough cameras and accessories to feed any film photography fix. Does your lover spend tons of time on iPhoto distorting faces and creating their own Pop art? Go with the fisheye camera or Pop 9 Gold. Does he/she prefer capturing huge landscapes with gorgeous sunsets? Invest in a panoramic. For an even more vintage look, grab a Diana F+ based on the 1960s camera. Nothing like some old-school pics to set the mood. 7998 Santa Monica Blvd., W. Hlywd.

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