Bookish Thought is a type of discussion post where I talk about anything book related and of course leave it open for you all to respond :)
Hi, my name is Nicole and I’m addicted to Goodreads.
I’m probably a little addicted to online shopping too, especially ordering books online. It’s easy and convenient. But may not be as fun as just walking among the shelves of a bookstore. I’ve found great picks that way, just entering a genre section and browsing. I found one of my favorite books, Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon (Goodreads), that way.
So, I started thinking about bookstores and the fact that I wanted to visit more again. Before it went out of business, Borders was the closest bookstore to my house and my preferred bookstore. When I moved to Oregon for college, I spent a lot of time in the used bookstore The Book Bin (if you ever find yourself in OR and outside of Portland, check them out!). The next logical step was to do research on bookstores nearby to where I live.
I live in Orange County, CA, so I’m going to look there and in LA (I have full confidence that none of you are creepers and/or stalkers) ;) Let’s see what my options are beyond Barnes & Noble and Amazon shall we?
Books Redux (Yelp link)
Based on the Yelp reviews, a lot of people like this bookstore. This is a used bookstore and it sounds like it’s on the messy side, which is part of the charm of used bookstores. I’ve only ever been on used bookstore before, in Vancouver BC and I remember it feeling a little on the disorganized side. I may at some point check this one out, but I’m person of structure and planning. That being said, if there isn’t at least some sort of genre organization, I think I would stress out, BUT I won’t let that stop me from checking it out.
Okay, I just internally squeeled over this one because get this, every book is only a dollar. A DOLLAR!! How did I not know about this place before?! And not only that, but they strive to help youth expand their minds. How great is that??
This seems like the most popular independent bookstore in OC. Based off the pictures on Yelp, it looks like a slightly bigger version of The Book Bin that’s near my Alma Mater’s campus in OR. I am definitely looking forward to checking this place out :)
BookTown USA (Yelp Link)
Based off the reviews, this bookstore sounds like another favorite. It’s slightly out of the way for me, but I think I would definitely want to check it out!
This is another store that is a little out of the way, but could be worth it. It sounds like it’s pretty big and carries a lot of variety. Maybe this could be a day trip of sorts …
Okay, so I’m sure that there are plenty others, but I decided to just find the ones that are closest to me. But, if you know of any I missed, don’t hesitate to drop a comment to let me know!
I did a basic search for the best bookstores in LA and found this 2015 LA Weekly article, which I’ll use as a base.
According to their website, they’re one of the largest used bookstores in the LA area. They specialize in Literature and the Arts, but carry books on most genres. Too bad they’re all the way in North Hollywood, what a drive.
A Santa Monica favorite. I am definitely going to file this one away since my sister lives in Santa Monica and I can probably persuade her to tag along one time.
I visited Pasadena the other week and really wanted to visit this bookstore. Unfortunately, it was too far to walk and we only had so much time before the parking meter ended. Next time!
One of the reasons this bookstore seems popular is because of its design and layout in the store. Based off their Yelp pictures, they like to dabble in book art. And the the store seems huge! Putting on bucket list for sure :)
According to the LA Weekly article, this place is one of the best neighborhood bookstores. I can just imagine a great cozy feel.
Small World Books (Yelp Link)
If you ever find yourself in Venice, CA this is apparently the bookstore to check out. To be honest, the few times I visited Venice, I wasn’t impressed. But maybe it looks different to a non-California resident?
The article named this one of the best. And it’s right on the sunset strip. Gotta check it out to see if it’s living up to being named the best, right?
Okay, so there’s a little insight into what kind of bookstores are around SoCal. It’s actually quite exciting that there are so many options, I never would have thought! Now I have more places I can give my money to haha :)
Keep your eye out for a Part 2: US Bookstores and Part 3: Bookstores around the world! If there’s a bookstore I missed or if you want to make sure your favorite gets mentioned, drop me a comment and I’ll include it!