Bookish Thought: Bookstores You Have to Visit

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?

Orange County

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.

Piccolo’s Books (Yelp Link & Website Link)

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??

Bookman (Yelp Link & Website Link)

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!

Camelot Books (Yelp Link & Website Link)

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!

Los Angeles

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.

Iliad Book Shop (Yelp Link & Website Link)

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.

Diesel: A Bookstore (Yelp Link & Website Link)

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.

Vroman’s Bookstore (Yelp Link & Website Link)

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!

The Last Bookstore (Yelp Link & Website Link)

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 :)

Skylight Books (Yelp Link & Website Link)

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?

Book Soup (Yelp Link & Website Link)

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!

Happy Reading!

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4 thoughts on “Bookish Thought: Bookstores You Have to Visit

  1. I used to work at Diesel! At one of their other locations in the Bay Area. They are great people and have a great selection. The Santa Monica location does a lot of author events, you should definitely keep them on your radar!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’ve been to Vroman’s (twice!) and loved it both times. It’s cute and charming in it’s own way, but I’ve wanted to go to Small World Books and Skylight Books. Maybe next time I head out west, I’ll be be able to make those stops.

    Liked by 1 person

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