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Arts and Entertainment

Summer Guide to Bookish LA

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Here's the thing: we've had a two-week back and forth LAist email about our favorite bookstores. Behind-the-scenes-planning-style. We've waxed poetic about the locations, the staff, the cats (with or without tails), the super-secret nooks and crannies of our best loved LA indies. Why did we email about this? Why were we making a list of favorite bookstores and checking it twice? Because we were going to do a nice little post on Indie Bookstores in L.A.

However: LA Weekly scooped us. Big time. They also used the word "bookish" which is, kind of, our word. Whatever.

Instead of wallowing in irritation (because let's face it, that's what we did yesterday), we realize it would be wrong of us to simply pretend it didn't happen. There are many excellent bookstores in LA and, well, you should check them out. LA Weekly highlights the heavy-hitters and a few newcomers that are well worth your time: Book Soup, Vroman's, Skylight Books, Dutton's, Family, Malibu Diesel and other neighborhood favorites.

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We would add:
+ Acres of Books: a massive acre-long bookstore in Long Beach that's ideal for hunting book treasures both old and new...just bring a flashlight (really!)

+ Book Alley: a new, used, rare bookstore in Pasadena that has the perfect used-book atmosphere -- creaky but never creepy with great music and a Famima! right next door.

+ Hennesseey + Ingalls: a gorgeous bookstore with gorgeous books that cover all things art, architecture, design, fashion, and photography-related.

+ Samuel French: every play you've ever needed for that next audition, every script you've ever wanted to shoot.

+ Earth 2: best Sherman Oaks selection of comic books, graphic novels and the like.

+ Portrait of a Bookstore: a funky bookstore inside a funky cafe - a perfect marriage of funk!

+ Traveler's Bookcase: a great selection of travel memoirs and discounted travel books when the newest version comes out.

+ Every Picture Tells a Story: the art of illustration - books, art, fantasy, cartoon, you name it, they've got it.

+ Bodhi Tree Bookstore: yes, it's hippy-dippy, but if you're seeking a higher plane, this is the bookstore for you.

When all else fails and we simply cannot find that much-needed book at the indie bookstores scattered across our fair city, the Bookstar on Ventura in Studio City seems to have what we need every time. Not quite indie, not quite big box, but they always cure our fix.

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What's your favorite LA Bookstore?

Note: Future LAist guides to bookish LA may include: libraries, neighborhood guides, book clubs, LA as character, local readings, bookstore profiles, author interviews, and other things of this nature. In case, you know, LA Weekly gets to it first.

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