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How To Celebrate National Book Lovers Day In LA

Rows of books sitting on top of a short bookshelf all arranged with their spines facing and created a semi-circle or curved effect on the right side of the screen. On the left is a large yellow electric fan that also sits on a bookshelf next to another bookshelf.
The Last Bookstore in DTLA
(Jonathan Hoffman
/
LAist)
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Let's face it — there’s nothing like a good book. It can teach you something new, challenge your beliefs, and transport you to new worlds. And, in current times, reading is simply a soothing activity for your mind after a stressful day.

If that resonates, then Tuesday is the day for you. It's National Book Lovers Day, and we've put together some tips on how to celebrate your love of literature and make the most of L.A's vibrant book offerings.

Support Local Independent Bookstores

Yes, you can buy online, but there's something special about visiting a book store and losing track of time perusing the shelves. And you can get expert help, right there.

Similar to how farmers market vendors know their produce better than anyone, bookstore employees know their inventory so well you can get a personalized recommendation.

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Katie Orphan, the bookstore manager for Chevalier’s Books in Larchmont Village, loves helping people find the right book.

“Talking about books, listening to people tell me what it is they like, I come up with a recommendation that, hopefully, is just right for them,” Orphan said.

While some people enjoy the convenience of downloading digital books on their phones, Orphan argues there's still an appeal to buying physical copies of books.

“As a physical item and in your bookshelf, it is a signifier of your interests and your intellect,” Orphan said. “Screen fatigue is another aspect of a book’s appeal. Especially over the last few years, people have been staring at their screen or their TV all day, so having something to rest their eyes is a big change of pace.”

Alex Maslansky, bookstore manager and partner of Stories Books & Cafe in Echo Park, loves being involved in the book trade and believes physical books have an inherent advantage over their digital counterparts.

“I love being involved in the trade of ideas, there is no other retail product quite like a book,” Maslansky said. “Any physical object is bound to have a bigger footprint on your psyche. There’s just a simple tactile joy of flipping through pages.”

If you want to get your hands on a new or used book today, here are eight independent bookstores you can visit.

Chevalier’s Books
133 N Larchmont Blvd Los Angeles, CA 90004
Monday through Sunday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

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Stories Books and Cafe
1716 W Sunset Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90026
Hours: Monday through Sunday from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.

The Last Bookstore
453 S Spring St — Ground Floor Los Angeles, CA 90013
Monday through Sunday from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Skylight Books
1818 N. Vermont Ave. Los Angeles, CA 90027
Monday through Sunday from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Vroman’s Bookstore
695 E. Colorado Blvd. Pasadena, CA 91101
Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Eso Won Books
4327 Degnan Blvd Los Angeles, CA 90008
Tuesday through Saturday from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m.

Libros Schmibros Lending Library
103 N Boyle Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90033
Wednesday through Sunday from 12:00 p.m. to 6 p.m.

Children’s Book World
10580 ½ W. Pico Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90064
Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Book Soup
8818 Sunset Blvd. West Hollywood, CA 90069
Monday through Sunday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Other Books, Comics, and Zines
2006 E Cesar E Chavez Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90033
Tuesday through Sunday From 2 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Bel Canto Books
2122 E 4th St, Long Beach, CA 90814
Tuesday through Sunday From 11 a.m to 7 p.m.

Participate In A Little Free Library

A small yellow box with a clear glass door that resembles a house with blue trim on the base of the pointed roof sits outside in front of a short wall topped with red brick. The box contains two shelves full of books. On the second shelf, one book sits on its side with the cover facing out lying on its side. Behind the library is a blue sky above a small hillside with greenery. In the foreground are two black SUV cars parked along the street.
Little Free Library Charter no. 139951 located at 29520 Woodbrook Dr. Agoura Hills, CA 91301
(Jonthan Hoffman
/
LAist )

If your bookshelves are already over capacity or your budget is a little tight, try visiting one of the many free book exchanges across the city. These cute covered wooden bookshelves, usually in someone's front yard, are open to anyone to take a book, or leave a book.

The grassroots movement is organized by the nonprofit Little Free Library, which says on its website “by providing greater, more equitable book access in neighborhoods worldwide, we work to strengthen communities and influence literacy outcomes.”

You can find the mini-library nearest you using their browser map or mobile app.

If you want to go a step further and create your own, the website has a complete guide to get you started, including steps to identify a legal and safe location, how to build or purchase one, and tips for spreading the word about your neighborhood's new addition.

Spend The Afternoon At A Public Library

Three rows of grey bookshelves filled with different books in different colors at the Los Angeles Public Library. On the side of each shelf is a small white rectangle that serves as a sign saying what section the shelf is.
Get lost in the stacks at one of the many locations of the Los Angeles Public Library
(Jonathan Hoffman
/
LAist )

We all know that most of Southern California in August is unbearably hot. Unless you are by the coast, there isn’t much of an escape from the heat beating down on you throughout the day.

One way to beat the heat and express your inner bookworm is by spending the afternoon at one of the 72 Los Angeles Public Library branches.

Some standouts: the Beverly Hills Branch library and the Los Feliz Branch library.

Of course, there's always the grand dame of them all, the Central Library downtown. If you get burnt out from reading pages upon pages of your favorite graphic novel or romance book, the Central Library offers tours of its amazing architecture and has various exhibits to explore, too.

What questions do you have about Southern California?