Advertisement
Share

Want to support an L.A. bookstore? Here are 24 to order from

The Last Bookstore in downtown Los Angeles is among the stores that have reopened for curbside pickup.
(Dania Maxwell / Los Angeles Times)

As Amazon continues to rack up revenue from a pandemic-enhanced surge of orders, locally-owned, independent bookstores have struggled to stay afloat since March, when nonessential businesses were forced to close in order to control spread of the coronavirus.

But on May 8, when California Gov. Gavin Newsom allowed some retailers to reopen with strict safety measures, more Los Angeles bookstores began offering contact-free, curbside service. As always — but especially while advised to shelter as close to home as possible — the best places to shop are around the corner.

Like their peers across the U.S., booksellers in L.A. are adjusting to partially reopening their stores for curbside pickup amid the coronavirus.

We’ve compiled a roundup of L.A. bookstores across the city serving readers in Boyle Heights, Long Beach and most everywhere in between. Almost all of them offer curbside pickup and some are open for responsible browsing. Check in with individual stores for pickup hours and instructions, return policies, addresses, virtual events and other details. Most bookstores are operating with limited staff and reduced hours, so book orders might take a couple of days. And per city orders, remember to wear a face covering and practice physical distancing whenever picking up orders.

Advertisement

  • The Last Bookstore: This multistory, labyrinthine bookstore in the heart of downtown L.A. is offering curbside pickup for buyers of its curated book bundles. Buyers can fill out a questionnaire about their budget, favorite genres, authors and more and staff will choose books (new or used) that reflect your interests. You can approve their bundle selections first before pickup or leave it up to the chef. To order: Visit shopthelastbookstore.com or the bookstore’s Instagram to fill out the questionnaire.
  • Stories Books & Cafe: This beloved Echo Park bookstore recently opened for socially distant, masked shopping. Their fully stocked cafe is also open for to-go calls. To order: Visit storiesla.com. Address: 1716 Sunset Blvd.
  • Eso Won: Located in historic Leimert Park, this 40-year-old bookstore specializes in titles by African American writers. To order: Visit esowonbookstore.com or call (323) 290-1048.

Ebook sales are higher due to coronavirus, but bookstores are shutting down. In the end, Amazon wins.

  • Vroman’s Bookstore: With locations in Pasadena and Hastings Ranch, Vroman’s is currently accepting online and phone orders for contact-free pickup. To order: Visit vromansbookstore.com or call (626) 449-5320 (Pasadena) or (626) 351-0828 (Hastings Ranch).
  • Book Soup: This West Hollywood mainstay is shipping orders and offering curbside pickup Tuesday to Saturday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. at its Sunset Boulevard entrance only. Staff are not accepting phone orders yet. To order: Visit booksoup.com.
  • Diesel, A Bookstore: Customers of this 31-year-old indie mini-chain with locations in Oakland, Del Mar and Brentwood can order for pickup and ask for book recommendations during store hours: Monday to Saturday between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. To order: Visit dieselbookstore.com or call the Brentwood site at (310) 576-9960.

  • Chevalier’s Books: Established in 1940, this long-serving Hancock Park bookstore is still physically closed, but readers can order online for shipping or curbside pickup. To order: Visit chevaliersbooks.com.
  • Pages: A Bookstore: Located a few breezy blocks from the sands of Manhattan Beach, this shop is open for online orders with curbside pickup, local delivery and shipping. To order: Visit pagesabookstore.com.
  • Once Upon a Time: This longtime children’s bookstore in Montrose is offering free local delivery, discounted shipping and curbside pickup. To order: Visit shoponceuponatime.com.
  • Gatsby Books: Customers of this new-and-used books shop in Long Beach can request doorstep delivery or curbside service Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays between 3 and 5 p.m. and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. To order: Visit gatsbybooks.com or email sean@gatsbybooks.com.
Eric Larkin hands over a pickup order to Brittany Wright as she fastens her mask outside the Last Bookstore in downtown L.A.
Eric Larkin hands over a curbside pickup order to Brittany Wright as she fastens her mask outside the Last Bookstore in downtown Los Angeles.
(Dania Maxwell / Los Angeles Times)

  • Skylight Books: This well-lighted neighborhood bookstore in Los Feliz is accepting phone orders in addition to curbside. To order: Call (323) 660-1175 between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. every day to place and pay for an order or visit skylightbooks.com and choose “curbside pickup” at checkout.
  • Counterpoint Records & Books: This hybrid Hollywood shop has been buying and selling books and records since 1979. Though it reopened for indoor shopping on Friday, curbside pickup will still be available. To order: Call (323) 957-7965, email orders@counterpointla.com or visit counterpointla.com. Address: 5911 Franklin Ave.
  • Children’s Book World: Located in Rancho Park in West L.A., this shop has more than 80,000 titles for kids, parents and teachers and carries a large selection of music, audio books, DVDs and more. Shipping and contact-free curbside pickup is available 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday through Friday. To order: Visit childrensbookworld.com or email cbwchildrensbooks@gmail.com.
  • Small World Books: Find novels, poetry and other reads at this Venice spot. Beginning this week, the store will take appointments for customer visits (gloves and hand sanitizer will be provided) but still offer curbside pickup. To order: Call (310) 399-2360.

Nick Capizzi and Jenny Yang founded A Good Used Book in 2018 as an itinerant book-browsing mecca. Now they’re surviving on hope and Instagram.

  • Planet Books: This eclectic used book store in Long Beach that also sells vintage toys and collectibles reopened this week but will continue to offer curbside service. To order: Call (562) 985-3154. Address: 3917 E. Anaheim St.
  • The Iliad Bookshop: This brick-and-mortar North Hollywood store specializes in literature and the arts and offers curbside pickup Tuesday through Saturday, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. To order: Call (818) 509-2665, email info@iliadbooks.com or visit iliadbooks.com.
  • Hennessey + Ingalls: This art, architecture and design bookstore in L.A.'s Arts District just reopened for browsing and will continue curbside pickup. To order: Call (213) 437-2130. Address: 300 S. Santa Fe Ave., Suite M.
  • Libros Schmibros: This Boyle Heights gem is a lending library putting low-to-no-cost books in customers’ hands. Curbside service is available on Saturdays and Sundays: To order: Visit librosschmibros.org, click the “free books” link to search the catalog and fill out the book request form.
Advertisement

  • La Librería: Founded in 2012, this Mid-City store specializes in Spanish-language literature for children. Customers can order for curbside pickup or delivery. To order: Call (310) 295-1501, email orders@la-libreria.net or visit la-libreria.net, place the order online, and select “curbside pickup” at checkout.
  • Larry Edmunds Bookshop: This historic Hollywood bookshop has been operating since 1938 and was re-created in Quentin Tarantino’s “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.” It’s offering mail-order and curbside service every day between 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., but customers are asked to call before arriving. To order: Call (323) 463-3273 or email info@larryedmunds.com.
  • Mystery Pier Books: Located in West Hollywood, Mystery Pier houses thousands of first editions. Though it reopened for in-store shopping and browsing, customers can still order books for pickup. To order: Call (310) 657-5557 or email info@mysterypierbooks.com. Address: 8826 Sunset Blvd.
  • Now Serving: This Chinatown store carries a mix of new and used cookbooks and offers shipping and curbside pickup every day except Tuesdays and Wednesdays. To order: Visit nowservingla.com and select “pick up” at checkout.
  • Arcana: Books on the Arts: This 36-year-old Culver City mainstay specializes in titles on art, photography, design, architecture, cinema, fashion and food. In addition to curbside service, Arcana also ships and delivers. To order: Visit arcanabooks.com and call (310) 458-1499 or email books@arcanabooks.com.
  • BookMonster: Located in Santa Monica, this shop has used and new books available for curbside pickup. To order: Visit bookmonster.com and email order@bookmonster.com.

Advertisement