{Books} Mini Indie Bookstore Crawl

E-readers have never been my thing. Audio books have never been my thing. But actual paper books? YES PLEASE. Books that I can touch, smell (yes), stack, bend...those are my thing. I love the feel of turning pages & feeling accomplished when I see how far I've read. We have stacks of books all over our house that very well may kill me should we ever have a bad earth quake, but I love how they look...so whatever. And,  I absolutely LOVE going to the bookstore.  I used to primarily shop at *gasp* chain stores like Barnes & Noble (I know, I know, stop judging me) but that was only because I was blind to the fact that LA has some awesome independent bookstores (besides The Last Bookstore. If you haven't been there, you MUST) & I'm cheap.  When my BFF, also an avid reader, came in town a few weeks ago, we decided to do a mini indie bookstore crawl.  It had to be mini because trying to get to different neighborhoods in LA is no easy task.  Going off of reviews online, I chose 3 stores to focus on; Book Soup, Vroman's Bookstore, & Skylight Books.

We started at Book Soup, located on the iconic Sunset Strip in West Hollywood.  Known for having over 60,000 titles, Book Soup specializes in art, film, photography, music, & literary fiction. They have events multiple nights a week, which is awesome. You can check their schedule here.
The moment I walked in, I fell in love. The store has such an intimate feeling but with a HUGE selection; the store just kept going & was extremely deceiving from the outside.
Also, we need to talk about these floor to ceiling black shelving units. STUNNING. 

One of the things I loved was there were staff recommendations all throughout the store with little notes. It felt very personable & not just like they were listing off the NY Times best seller list. There were so many books I'd never heard of!
In addition to the wide variety of books, they also had a nice selection of book-related gifts/homegoods. I seriously could have spent hours in here.
I have to give the staff immense credit for this display. I know how fortunate enough I am to live in a city that reflects my views & I try to acknowledge it whenever I can.  This gave me a real good laugh, even though it's quite depressing because it's so true.
I only had one complaint while we were there & that's the parking situation, or lack there of.  If you're lucky enough to find a meter outside, they only go up to 20 mins. Seriously, who spends only 20 minutes in a bookstore???  We didn't check the side streets, but we probably would have had better luck there.
Overall, love love loved this store.

Up next, the oldest & largest independent book retailer in Southern California, Vroman's Bookstore, located in the heart of Pasadena.
When I began my bookstore research, Vroman's was the first to pop up. By far, this is the largest indie bookstore I have ever been in. Two full stories, a giant home goods, gifts & stationery section plus a nice big parking lot out back! It is PERFECT.

This is just the beginning of the home goods section. Seriously, this is my heaven.
But the best part? When you check out, you have the option of choosing a local organization to have a portion of your proceeds donated to! How amazing is that?
Also, did I mention they have not just an animal section, but a pets section? Amazing.
Look, more home goods!
Overall, there is not much to complain about this pretty perfect store.  Perhaps because it was so big, it was really busy? But ya know, I was totally OK with it. Love love love.

Our last stop of the day was Skylight Books. Open since 1966, Skylight is a charming little local shop located in  Glendale. My first experience with Skylight Books was last summer when they brought in Elizabeth Warren to speak about her new book. (Catch up here.) They always have an awesome line up of authors & events, most recently Joe Biden!
The overall shop is really sweet, but it is a bit on the smaller side. They don't have as many book-related gifts, but they did have a decent selection of books! They also have a giant tree in the middle of their store...so that's a win.
Parking is a bit tough given that this store is located on a busy street, but there is a lot of neighborhood parking if you get lucky! 

Overall, I really loved all the stores we went to & I definitely plan on going back to each one.  
But perhaps, my wallet could use a break.
My haul!

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