Aug 27, 2017

The Last Bookstore in LA

The Southern California stretch of my trip lasted barely more than 24 hours, which left me with some regrets about places I didn’t get to see and things I didn’t get to do (first and foremost, meeting Amy). My friends and I drove from San Francisco to LA on the day of the UK General Election. At the time exit polls were due to be released, we were in Santa Cruz for a lunchtime stop. We went to Marianne’s Icecream for what we believed would be a more or less futile attempt to keep despair at bay, and that’s where we were when the unexpected happened. We spent the rest of the road trip streaming BBC radio while laughing in amazement, and made it to LA just as the initial projections were being confirmed.

Two months down the line the UK is still in a mess, and my own situation as an immigrant is just as uncertain as ever. It isn’t that I expected any different that day, when I embraced the hope and exhilaration that overtook us all — it’s just that I thought they were worth leaning into regardless. The result of the general election was a much needed reminder than I don’t know what’s going to happen, for better or worse. This has been my battle all through this year: to inhabit uncertainty, to embrace possibility, to avoid a paralysing sense of inevitability without crossing the line into facile hope. This goes for small and larger scale matters alike. Some days I manage better than others.

I saw two things on my one morning in LA: the Central Library (of course) and The Last Bookstore in LA. Here’s the gorgeous library building:
Read More

Post-it mural in the teen library (oh, my heart):

The fact that I visited during lgbtq history month meant I got to see great displays everywhere.

My second stop was The Last Bookstore in LA, which I really liked. It might be a matter of style over substance — unlike, say, at the Strand or Powell’s, I wasn’t taken with the stock selection, but I enjoyed visiting the book tunnel and other assorted bookish d├ęcor way too much not to rate the experience highly. A few pictures:

The few hours I spent in the city were enough to see what people mean about Southern California’s light. I was sad to miss the Getty Centre, the Republish of Pie, sunset at the beach, and the chance encounter with a coyote my friends were treated to after I left. I hope there will be a next time. I’ll finished with a few pictures of Downtown LA and of the road trip that got me there:

A quick visit to the Bradbury Building.

The aforementioned election ice cream.

Golden Californian hills.

Thank you for following along. I want to tell you about my July trip to Paris sometime in the near future, and after that I’ll hopefully have no excuse not to write actual words.


  1. Why don't more bookstores have labyrinths???

  2. Thank you for sharing these! The photos are lovely...

  3. There are few things I love more than following your adventures! :)
    (PS--I will stop sucking and email soon.)

  4. This comment has been removed by the author.


Thank you so much for taking the time to comment - interaction is one of my favourite things about blogging and a huge part of what keeps me going.