Maybe your enchantment of the giant bookshelves in the movies encouraged you to fall in love with books. Maybe the excitement of finding an interesting story struck your curiosity of reading more. Or maybe you just long for the satisfaction of turning every page to get the hang of the journey of the characters you have been attached with. Be it one way or another, the magic of reading an actual book will never get out of hand as long as someone like you still craves the smell and texture of the printed work.

When it comes to books, Los Angeles may not be the first place you can think of. However, the City of Angels offers special private places that can ignite the bookworm within you. If you are tired of staying at home while reading your favorite book, these three heavenly hideouts may be the perfect "me time place" for you. 

1. The Bradbury Building

Photo credits to LA Conservancy

The Bradbury Building is the oldest commercial building remaining in Los Angeles City, still splendid after its opening in 1893. It is named after Lewis Bradbury who had made his fortune from gold mines. Behind the modest structure of the building are the Architects namely George Wyman and Sumner Hunt. The central city's mildly Romanesque exterior lies a magical light-filled Victorian court that rises almost fifty feet with open cage elevators, marble stairs, and ornate iron railings. 

Photo credits to LA Conservancy

In sci-fi movies, the Bradbury Building is commonly featured such as its appearance in the 1982 movie "Blade Runner" and in the sci-fi TV series “The Outer Limits” and “Quantum Leap.” So if you are in downtown LA, don't miss the chance of visiting the Historic Bradbury Building. It is free to visit from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on weekdays and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekends. Aside from the perfect ambiance to read, you can also snap photos around the atrium as your remembrance.

2. The Huntington Library

The Huntington Library, Art Museum, and Botanical Gardens is a collections-based research and educational institution serving scholars and the general public. It is surrounded by 120 acres spread across 12 specialized gardens. Originally the private estate of railroad magnate Henry Huntington, it is one of Southern California's must-see cultural destinations with magnificent collections of rare books, manuscripts, and famous works of art including Gainsborough's "The Blue Boy," Mary Cassatt's "Breakfast in Bed," a Gutenberg Bible, an illuminated manuscript of Chaucer's The Canterbury Tales, and a First Folio edition of Shakespeare.

If you are a first-time visitor, don't worry because the Library's reading rooms are open to readers by appointment. You may set an appointment with Reader Services to register as a first-time user.
For reading room appointments, the services are available Monday through Friday, 9 a.m.–12 p.m. and 1–4 p.m. Effective January 22, 2022, the Ahmanson Reading Room will open on Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. for viewing rare materials only. The library is closed Sundays, major holidays, and on other planned closures.

Photo credits to Huntington

Aside from the numerous books found in Huntington Library, you can also step out and visit the lovely Botanical Garden to immerse further the peaceful reading experience while enjoying the roses and marble statues around the ponds and waterfalls, with a Japanese-style bridge in the middle of everything. 

3. The Last Bookstore

Photo credits to Last Bookstore LA

The Last Bookstore is California’s largest independent bookstores in the world, located in downtown Los Angeles. Since its debut in 2005, the bookstore still buys, sells, and trades new and used books and vinyl records just like before. The name was chosen with irony but seems more appropriate to this date as physical bookstores die out because of the emergence of e-books. 

This must-visit gem in DTLA is free to visit and won't leave you empty handed as it offers a great selection of new and old books of over 500,000 book titles for all bibliophiles or starting reader. You may begin your search on the ground floor then make your way up through the mezzanine level and finally, visit the labyrinth tunnel– piles of books transformed into an art sculpture.

The wonders of a book are not limited to the minds of the readers because it can turn these ideas into wonderful creation and architecture. These libraries and bookstores still stand today to serve as a home to anyone who wants to explore, reminisce, and learn from all ages by strolling the aisle of endless pages.

Written by Karisma Primero

Karisma Primero is currently a Digital Marketing Intern of PS Media Enterprise, and a 3rd year Broadcasting student at the Polytechnic University of the Philippines - Manila.

Allen Ponce

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