The Last Bookstore

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The Last Bookstore
IndustrySpecialty retail
Founded2005 (2005)
FounderJosh Spencer
United States
Number of locations
1 store
Area served
Los Angeles metropolitan area
ProductsNew, used and rare books
OwnerJosh Spencer
Number of employees

The Last Bookstore is an independent bookstore located at 453 S Spring Street, Downtown Los Angeles. Conde Nast Traveler called it California’s largest new and used bookstore.[1]


The store was founded in 2005 by Josh Spencer. The first incarnation was a downtown Los Angeles loft. They sold books and other things online only, then focused on books, opened a small bookstore in December 2009 on 4th and Main streets. They moved to the current incarnation in the Spring Arts Tower at 5th and Spring streets on June 3, 2011.[2][3][4] The store is 22,000 square feet.[5] The current store is in a former bank with books on two levels, including the former vault.

Vox reported that the store creates visual merchandising through creative displays, which attracts Instagram users, "in the hope of trying to convert Instagram visitors into book purchasers."[5]


Filmmaker Chad Howitt chronicled The Last Bookstore and its owner, Spencer, in a short documentary titled Welcome to the Last Bookstore, released in 2016. It tells the story of how Spencer was injured as a young man and lost the use of his legs, forcing him to re-examine his life.[6] Los Angeles Film Review called the effort an "ode to resilience."[7]


  1. ^ "The Last Bookstore: Our Review". Conde Nast. Retrieved January 23, 2019.
  2. ^ Bartlett, James (14 May 2014). "Josh Spencer: The Last Bookstore Owner". LA Weekly. Retrieved July 10, 2016.
  3. ^ Kellogg, Carolyn (15 June 2011). "Downtown L.A.'s the Last Bookstore defies trends". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved July 10, 2016.
  4. ^ "Inside 'The Last Bookstore' in Downtown Los Angeles". Untapped Cities.
  5. ^ a b Chittal, Nisha (19 December 2018). "Independent bookstores are growing — and Instagram helped". Vox.
  6. ^ Ajaka, Nadine (August 18, 2016). "The Man Behind 'The Last Bookstore'". The Atlantic.
  7. ^ Grey, Linn (23 May 2016). "Review – Welcome to the Last Bookstore". Los Angeles Film Review.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 34°02′52″N 118°14′59″W / 34.047731°N 118.249821°W / 34.047731; -118.249821