The Los Angeles Central Library is and has always been a great place to scour the shelves for exactly the right book, find exactly the right nook and read to your heart's content. Located on Fifth Street in DTLA, the art deco edifice — designed by New York architect Bertram Goodhue and constructed in the mid-1920s — has so much more to explore. An official L.A. historical landmark, the library has an exterior that features high- and low-relief sculptures, conceived by a University of Nebraska professor and themed “The Light of Learning.” Inside, on the upper walls of the rotunda, a fabric mural by Dean Cornwell depicts California's history in rich, orange-y hues that conjure a SoCal sunset. Period-appropriate lighting fixtures and dense mahogany tables make the library feel grand but comfortable. If you need an excuse to visit, we recommend checking out the Library Foundation of L.A.'s ongoing discussion series, ALOUD, which this month hosts speakers including Emma Donoghue, author of Room (Oct. 19), and Hisham Matar, author of In the Country of Men (Oct. 24). The library's also home to an impressive collection of DVDs and VHS tapes, with titles you aren't likely to find on Netflix anytime soon. The library is plenty good for some quiet reading — but there's so much more to do, too.
Credit: COURTESY LOS ANGELES PUBLIC LIBRARY