8 bookstores to visit on National Read a Book Day (plus bonus libraries)

Photo by Steve Hymon.

I love my Kindle because it makes reading in transit very convenient, but downloading a new book just doesn’t compare to the feeling of picking up a real paper book — the joy of flipping through the pages, of running your fingers across the cover art.

But in the age of digital book buying, brick and mortar bookstores are becoming increasingly rare, so this National Read a Book Day (Tuesday, Sept. 6) I encourage everyone to get out there, visit a bookstore or two and pick up something new to read!

1. The Iliad Bookshopfrom North Hollywood Station walk about 20 minutes east on Chandler Boulevard (or use Chandler Bikeway), Metro Bus 183 to Magnolia/Cahuenga.

A photo posted by Jessica Hodgdon (@jhodgdon) on

2. Hennessey + Ingalls: from Little Tokyo/Arts District Station walk five blocks east on 1st Street then two blocks south on Santa Fe Avenue, DASH A to Traction/Merrick, or Metro Bike station at 3rd/Santa Fe.

3. The Last Bookstore: from Pershing Square Station walk two blocks southeast on 5th St., Metro Bus 16 or 18 to 5th/Spring.

4. Kinokuniya: from Little Tokyo/Arts District Station walk two blocks northwest on 1st St., Metro Bus 30 or DASH A to 1st/San Pedro.

A photo posted by Kinokuniya USA (@kinokuniyausa) on

5. Books and Cookies: from Downtown Santa Monica Station walk 20 minutes south on 4th St. and west on Strand, Big Blue Bus Line 1 and 8 to Main/Hollister.

6. Vroman’s Bookstore: from Lake Station walk 15 minutes south on Lake Ave. and west on Colorado Blvd., Metro Bus 180 or Pasadena Transit Line 10 to Colorado/Oak Knoll.

7. Skylight Books: from Vermont/Sunset Station walk 10 minutes north on Vermont Ave., Metro Bus 180 or DASH Hollywood to Vermont/Melbourne.

8. Taschen HollywoodMetro Bus 16 or DASH Fairfax to 3rd/Ogden, Metro Rapid 780 to Fairfax/3rd.

A photo posted by Melissa Basut (@melissabasut) on

And because bookstores aren’t the only place you can get a book, here’s a shoutout to some of my favorite libraries. Feel free to add to the list in the comments as well, the more recommendations the better!


Categories: Go Metro

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5 replies

  1. Thank you so much for this wonderful list of transit-accessible bookstores in LA! A bookstore I love to go to is Alias Books East, located in Atwater Village. They carry a wide selection of used and out of print titles with an emphasis on film, literature and the arts. Simply take Metro Local Lines 92 or 201 to Glendale/Brunswick. In addition, Alias Books East’s sister store, Alias Books, is located on Sawtelle Boulevard in West LA. It’s only a 7-10 minute walk from Metro Bus Lines 4/704, 234/734/788 bus stop at Santa Monica/Sepulveda. Happy National Read a Book Day and Go Metro!

  2. Wait. One more thing. That top photo looks a lot like Powell’s in Portland! Which is easily accessible via light rail and/or streetcar, btw.

    Quasi-related: I just read in Variety that Springsteen is going to be appearing at bookstores this fall to promote his memoir. Please, please, please, please….let it be Vromans.

    Steve Hymon
    Editor, The Source

  3. Lots of good eats near Vromans for those who are famished after all that browsing. My new favorite: Urban Plates on Lake Avenue. Pro tip: the soups also come in meal sizes (read: big bowls).

    Steve Hymon
    Editor, The Source

  4. Thanks for an excellent list! You have included some of my favorites and some new spots to check out 😀