More Los Angeles Area Bookstores

Hennessey + Ingalls, Chevalier’s Books, Book Soup, and 16 more Los Angeles independent bookstores we love.

los angeles area bookstores
Alta

Is your favorite indie bookstore missing from this list? Fill out this form or drop us a line at bookstores@altaonline.com to let us know whom we missed and why they should be included. Visit altaonline.com/bookstores for frequent additions.

1
BOOK CARNIVAL
book carnival, orange county
Book Carnival

Get your murders here, folks! It’s not fancy (think ’70s-strip-mall aesthetic), but for some 40 years, Book Carnival has been killing it with mystery, suspense, and crime fiction fans in north Orange County. It’s the place to catch readings by some of the genres’ big dogs, from Michael Connelly to Faye Kellerman, or to join a book club. Orange

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2
BOOK SOUP
book soup bookstore
Book Soup

On the Sunset Strip’s western edge, a stone’s throw from the Viper Room and the Whisky a Go Go, this shop boasts of being a bookseller to the great and infamous. True to its word, it is probably the only place in the world where you can see Harvey Fierstein and Joan Collins discuss their respective memoirs in the same week. West Hollywood

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3
CELLAR DOOR BOOKSTORE
cellar door bookstore
Cellar Door Bookstore

Stocked with a wide-ranging selection of contemporary literature, Cellar Door might also be considered an informal community center fostering connections and change. Locals take advantage of the shop’s book clubs—Feminist, Latinx, LGBTQ, Black Lit, and many others. And for those who may have wondered, Drag Queen Story Time is officially back. Riverside

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4
CHEVALIER’S BOOKS
chevalier’s books
Chevalier’s Books

Located in the tony neighborhood of Larchmont Village, this shop offers an eclectic selection of contemporary fiction and nonfiction, along with a modest but inviting children’s section. A long, low shelf spotlights books intended to catch little eyes, like The ABCs of Socialism and a Hip Hop Family Tree. Los Angeles

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5
DIESEL, A BOOKSTORE
alta 2022 favorite bookstore, diesel, a bookstore
DIESEL, A BOOKSTORE

Tucked within Santa Monica’s picturesque open-air Brentwood Country Mart, Diesel boasts a multitude of genres within its compact, cozy space. With detailed recommendation tabs adorning each section for quiet browsers and insightful staff members eager to chat with shoppers who want to talk books, visitors can rest assured they will be guided comfortably toward their next read. Diesel has a second location in San Diego's Del Mar Highlands Town Center. Santa Monica

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6
HENNESSEY + INGALLS
hennessey and ingalls
Hennessey + Ingalls

From the ground floor of a block-long apartment complex in Downtown’s Arts District, Hennessey + Ingalls focuses solely on books about the visual arts. Sections include Industrial Design, Architecture Theory, and Photo Technique. The well-stocked newsstand is one of the last places to find current copies of Juxtapoz. Los Angeles

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7
LA LIBRERÍA
la librería
LA Librería

This Mid City destination is the only bookstore in the city of Los Angeles that exclusively sells Spanish-language children’s books. Many are sourced from independent presses in Latin America and Spain. Need help deciding what to buy? Request a copy of 262 Children’s Books to Read in Spanish, the store’s free catalog of recommendations. Los Angeles

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8
LAGUNA BEACH BOOKS
laguna beach books, laguna beach
Laguna Beach Books

If a major author is touring, chances are their Orange County stop will include, if not be limited to, this neighborhood institution on the Pacific Coast Highway. Laguna Beach Books is a narrow but long store featuring classics, upmarket fiction as well as blockbusters, and more—not to mention a great nod to books on surf and skate culture. Laguna Beach

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9
THE LAST BOOKSTORE
the last bookstore
The Last Bookstore

Housed in the former Crocker Citizens Bank building, this Downtown bookshop has ample new and used stock on the first floor. But don’t skip the upstairs: shelves stuffed with sci-fi, the Danger Room of comics, and an actual vault filled with enough true crime and horror to inspire the next Saw movie are just a taste of what awaits. (Bonus points if you spot French street artist Invader’s piece out front.) Los Angeles

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10
LIBROMOBILE
alta 2022 favorite bookstore, libromobile
LIBROMOBILE

LibroMobile founder Sarah Rafael García wanted a place where BIPOC folks could see their stories on the shelves and their art on the walls. First a books-on-wheels operation, LibroMobile has become far more: a brick-and-mortar store with a section dedicated to local authors and another for BIPOC art, making it clear that this is a place for the community made possible by the community. Santa Ana

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11
LIBROS SCHMIBROS
libros schmibros, los angeles, alta journal's 2022 favorite bookstores
Libros Schmibros

Across the street from Mariachi Plaza stands Libros Schmibros, a bilingual lending library in the historic Chicano neighborhood of Boyle Heights. Since its opening in 2010, this local institution has focused on providing books to the surrounding community, regardless of readers’ means. Libros Schmibros also hosts podcasts and community events and runs a fellowship program for high school students. Los Angeles

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12
LIDO VILLAGE BOOKS
lido village books, newport beach
Lido Village Books

Tiny but mighty is this elegant indie, tucked into the sleek waterside development of Lido Marina Village. When the longtime owners of Lido Village Books decided to retire, Michelle Pierce saved the day by buying the shop, maintaining its reputation for an exquisitely curated selection for the well-read (or those who want to be), and promoting open readings for local writers. Pierce is about to launch a sister store, Malibu Village Books. Newport Beach

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13
MALIK BOOKS
malik books
Malik Books

One might not expect to find a repository for Black literary achievement and joy at the Westfield Culver City mall, but nevertheless, Malik Books proudly endures just steps away from the food court. The poster-size placards touting milestones in Black history aren’t for sale, but the vibrant cross section of books, by iconic and lesser-known Black authors, definitely is. The store’s equally great first location is in the Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza. Culver City

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14
NOW SERVING
now serving
Now Serving

Concentrating on culinary arts, this Chinatown bookseller invites a wanderlust for global cuisines. Consider the additional selection of chef Joyce Chen’s scissors and appreciate the framed poster of the late food critic Jonathan Gold’s dining rules. The wall of food periodicals may immediately activate subscription impulses. It seems impossible to leave Now Serving without wanting to eat—and you may even be inspired to cook. Los Angeles

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15
PAGE AGAINST THE MACHINE
page against the machine, long beach, alta journal's 2022 favorite bookstores
Page Against the Machine

Named in honor of Los Angeles–based rock band Rage Against the Machine, Page Against the Machine opened in 2019 and thrives as a home to books on subjects such as activism and political movements, socially conscious theory, and sustainability. This one-room shop, just four minutes from Long Beach City Beach, is where revolutions begin. Long Beach

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16
PAGES
pages a bookstore, los angeles, alta journal's 2022 favorite bookstores
Pages

Located just a couple of blocks from the water, this woman-owned bookstore hosts author events, weekly story times, and book clubs for all ages. With its signature blue walls and the sea breeze drifting through the shop, Pages is a great place to find your next beach read. Manhattan Beach

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17
SANDPIPER BOOKS
sandpiper books, los angeles
Sandpiper Books

This unassuming bookstore has something for everyone. From the dollar and two-dollar finds competing for space in the roller cart outside the shop to the wall of out-of-print and collector’s titles, Sandpiper Books is an old-school gem, with plenty of writerly trinkets to boot. Torrance

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18
TÍA CHUCHA’S CENTRO CULTURAL & BOOKSTORE
tía chucha’s centro cultural and bookstore
Tía Chucha’s Centro Cultural & Bookstore

Make a pilgrimage to this Sylmar beacon for an unrivaled selection of Latinx and Indigenous literature, poetry, and nonfiction. With bilingual children’s books, the Young Warriors youth mentorship program, workshops for the formerly incarcerated, an attached art gallery, and even classes in son jarocho (folkloric music from Veracruz, Mexico), this is a true cultural treasury. Los Angeles

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19
VROMAN’S BOOKSTORE
vroman’s bookstore
Vroman’s Bookstore

Founded in 1894 by Adam Clark Vroman, a relocated midwesterner, this well-appointed shop is Southern California’s oldest bookseller. Vroman’s is beloved throughout the San Gabriel Valley for its robust English-language children’s section, an abundance of discounted jewels in its clearance section, and plenty of free parking out back. It has a second location in nearby Hastings Ranch. (Tip for writers: Vroman’s offers a discount to authors needing copies of their own book.) Pasadena

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