The 10 Best Bookstores in California!

The bookstore business is thriving in California. The Golden State is home to plenty of bookstores, where you can find that perfect beach read or something for a plane ride. Check out the best indie bookstores in California, which offer everything from used reads to niche genres.

1. Bart’s Books, Ojai, CA

Enjoy California’s famously sunny weather while browsing through Bart’s Books, a proudly outdoor bookstore filled with exciting finds for bibliophiles. Discover a secondhand volume or two for a reasonable price and you’ll be surprised at how the afternoon can pass by quickly.

2. Vroman’s, Pasadena, CA

Vroman’s is an easily accessible bookstore right on Colorado Boulevard, Pasadena’s main drag. Easily organized into sections like all the major chain stores, Vroman’s also offers a coffee nook and a gift store. It’s also frequently the spot for local writers and famous authors of everything from cookbooks to mysteries to have a signing.

3. The Last Bookstore, Los Angeles, CA

The name of The Last Bookstore is boldly ironic as books compete with ever newer forms of entertainment. The Last Bookstore has grown to encompass a large space and is proud to proclaim itself the largest bookstore in the state. Check out the huge selection of new and old books as well as vinyl, graphic novels and a rare bookroom.

4. Warwick’s, San Diego, CA

Warwick’s claims to be the oldest family-owned bookstore in the state and hosts a full calendar of events and signings. Books include everything from signed editions and bestsellers to kid’s books, young adult fiction and more. There’s also gifts, office supplies and that sort of thing.

5. Dog Eared Books, San Francisco, CA

Literature seems to be alive and thriving in the City by the Bay if Dog Eared Books is any indication. The shop has two locations stocked with books from every genre. In addition, you can find specialty books from small presses and local writers.

6. The Booksmith, San Francisco, CA

The Booksmith isn’t just a bookstore, it’s also a community centerpiece and a fountain of culture. From book clubs to author signings, The Booksmith has a staff filled with bibliophiles and writers and a strong interest in maintaining the spirit of an independent bookstore in the modern world.

7. Henry Miller Memorial Library, Big Sur, CA

The Henry Miller Memorial Library isn’t your traditional bookstore. Located in the beautiful terrain of Big Sur, the Henry Miller Library hosts special events and weddings in addition to workshops, screenings and other happenings.

8. Book Soup, Hollywood, CA

A bookstore may not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think of the glamorous Sunset Strip, but Book Soup has been in the midst of everything since the 70s. Book Soup specializes in art, film, photography, music, and literary fiction and takes pride in offering rare gems and small press works waiting to be discovered.

9. The Iliad Bookshop, North Hollywood, CA

The Iliad Bookshop is a favorite with locals, include city dwellers that head over the hill to get to the bookstore filled with literature and art books in addition to graphic novels. With over 100,000 books in stock, The Iliad has been the stage for many TV shows and movies and many fans over the years.

10. City Lights, San Francisco, CA

City Lights in San Francisco has been in its landmark building since the 1950s. Previously focused only on paperbacks, City Lights also has new release hardcovers as well as small and hard to find books. The vast selection is well stocked and covers many genres, subjects and interests.

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