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The Best Indie Bookstores in Los Angeles for Feeding Your Mind

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Soul searching and heart pumping resolutions aside, none of it would be possible without exercising that three-pound muscle upstairs. Given that brain cells are essential to everything from tough wardrobe decisions to cocktail party convos, we're honing in on our city's best indie and local bookshops stocked with thought-provoking printed matter for your gray matter.

From SoCal's oldest bookstore to a movie buff's wonderland, see 'em all in A to Z order below and feel free to share your thoughts in the comments if we missed your favorite.

Photo: Hennessey + Ingalls/Facebook

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1. Book Castle / Movie World

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212 N San Fernando Blvd
Burbank, CA 91502
(818) 845-1563
Hyper-organized bookworms may have a heart attack upon entering this film-focused book shop, which is stacked floor-to-ceiling with everything from classic literature and TV scripts to vintage National Geographic magazines and movie press kits and more. [Photo]

2. Book Soup

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8818 W Sunset Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90069
(310) 659-3110
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Now owned by fellow indie shop Vroman's, Book Soup bills itself as the "bookseller to the great and infamous" thanks to its Sunset Strip locale. Expect to find over 60,000 titles in literary fiction, "controversial non-fiction," music, art, photography, film, and more from publishers both big and small, plus a hefty offering of autographed tomes. It's also known for its many publicity stunts, like hiring faux protesters for Paris Hilton's book signing. [Photo]

3. Iliad Bookshop

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5400 Cahuenga Blvd
North Hollywood, CA 91601
(818) 509-2665
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Offering over 125,000 titles, the used bookstore has earned top honors from Los Angeles mag and other local pubs for its selection of pre-loved graphic novels, classics, arts books, and more. Its tucked-away location means easy access and plentiful parking. [Photo]

4. Kinokuniya

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123 Astronaut E S Onizuka St
Los Angeles, CA 90012
(213) 687-4480
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Although a major chain in its native Japan, Kinokuniya's Little Tokyo outpost is a wonderland for LA J-Pop aficionados and Fruits fashion fans. Here, find anime and manga titles, DIY craft books, a stellar selection of indie and major fashion mags (like Vogue and Elle Nippon, which come with freebies like tote bags and samples), very kawaii stationery (gel pens! journals! adorable sushi erasers!), music, toys, and more. [Photo]

5. Skylight Books

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1818 N Vermont Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90027
(323) 660-1175
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On top of stocking the best new releases by indie and big-name authors, this friendly neighborhood shop (and LA essential haunt) offers an eclectic range of printed matter on film, theatre, culture, local history, literary fiction, music, art, politics, and more. Don't forget to say hello to Franny, Skylight's very own in-store feline. [Photo]

6. The Last Bookstore

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453 S Spring St
Los Angeles, CA 90013
(213) 488-0599
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Despite online stalwart Amazon, even the Last Bookstore's shopkeeps are amazed that it's become California's largest source of new and used books and records. Spanning 22,000 square feet, the massive two-story shop features an Arts & Rare Books section, a well-stocked vinyl and graphic novel department, and so much more. Its ground floor also shares space with the Spring Arts Collective and Gather Yarn shop. [Photo]

7. Traveler's Bookcase

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8375 W 3rd St
Los Angeles, CA 90048
(323) 655-0575
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Wanna get out of town? Make your first stop at this West Third Street shop (conveniently located by stylish travel accessories store Flight 001), which offers guides to every local and far-flung getaway, foreign language books, global cookbooks, and even kid's tomes and activity books, should you need to entertain tots on flights. [Photo]

8. Vroman's Bookstore

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695 E Colorado Blvd
Pasadena, CA 91101
(626) 449-5320
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A true LA literary landmark, SoCal's oldest bookstore is as famous for its vast inventory of tomes as it is for its author events and book signings (President Bill Clinton, Ray Bradbury, David Sedaris, Joan Didion, and Barbara Walters are just a few heavyweights who've been hosted here). [Photo]

9. Hennessey + Ingalls: One Santa Fe

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300 S Santa Fe Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90013
After shuttering its Hollywood and SaMo outposts last year, the design-focused bookshop is set to unveil its relocated LA flagship in DTLA's Arts District in February. Once open, its sleek shelves will continue to stock a range of fashion, art, design, and architecture titles alongside hard-to-find magazines, stylish stationery, and more. [Photo]

10. Taschen

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354 N Beverly Dr
Los Angeles, CA 90210
(310) 274-4300
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There's no better place to update your stylish coffee table than at Taschen. Offering tons of tomes across fashion, art, photography, design, and more, the publisher is also known for its damaged and slightly used book sales (which just happens to be coming up soon. [Photo]

1. Book Castle / Movie World

212 N San Fernando Blvd, Burbank, CA 91502
Hyper-organized bookworms may have a heart attack upon entering this film-focused book shop, which is stacked floor-to-ceiling with everything from classic literature and TV scripts to vintage National Geographic magazines and movie press kits and more. [Photo]
212 N San Fernando Blvd
Burbank, CA 91502

2. Book Soup

8818 W Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90069
Now owned by fellow indie shop Vroman's, Book Soup bills itself as the "bookseller to the great and infamous" thanks to its Sunset Strip locale. Expect to find over 60,000 titles in literary fiction, "controversial non-fiction," music, art, photography, film, and more from publishers both big and small, plus a hefty offering of autographed tomes. It's also known for its many publicity stunts, like hiring faux protesters for Paris Hilton's book signing. [Photo]
8818 W Sunset Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90069

3. Iliad Bookshop

5400 Cahuenga Blvd, North Hollywood, CA 91601
Offering over 125,000 titles, the used bookstore has earned top honors from Los Angeles mag and other local pubs for its selection of pre-loved graphic novels, classics, arts books, and more. Its tucked-away location means easy access and plentiful parking. [Photo]
5400 Cahuenga Blvd
North Hollywood, CA 91601

4. Kinokuniya

123 Astronaut E S Onizuka St, Los Angeles, CA 90012
Although a major chain in its native Japan, Kinokuniya's Little Tokyo outpost is a wonderland for LA J-Pop aficionados and Fruits fashion fans. Here, find anime and manga titles, DIY craft books, a stellar selection of indie and major fashion mags (like Vogue and Elle Nippon, which come with freebies like tote bags and samples), very kawaii stationery (gel pens! journals! adorable sushi erasers!), music, toys, and more. [Photo]
123 Astronaut E S Onizuka St
Los Angeles, CA 90012

5. Skylight Books

1818 N Vermont Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90027
On top of stocking the best new releases by indie and big-name authors, this friendly neighborhood shop (and LA essential haunt) offers an eclectic range of printed matter on film, theatre, culture, local history, literary fiction, music, art, politics, and more. Don't forget to say hello to Franny, Skylight's very own in-store feline. [Photo]
1818 N Vermont Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90027

6. The Last Bookstore

453 S Spring St, Los Angeles, CA 90013
Despite online stalwart Amazon, even the Last Bookstore's shopkeeps are amazed that it's become California's largest source of new and used books and records. Spanning 22,000 square feet, the massive two-story shop features an Arts & Rare Books section, a well-stocked vinyl and graphic novel department, and so much more. Its ground floor also shares space with the Spring Arts Collective and Gather Yarn shop. [Photo]
453 S Spring St
Los Angeles, CA 90013

7. Traveler's Bookcase

8375 W 3rd St, Los Angeles, CA 90048
Wanna get out of town? Make your first stop at this West Third Street shop (conveniently located by stylish travel accessories store Flight 001), which offers guides to every local and far-flung getaway, foreign language books, global cookbooks, and even kid's tomes and activity books, should you need to entertain tots on flights. [Photo]
8375 W 3rd St
Los Angeles, CA 90048

8. Vroman's Bookstore

695 E Colorado Blvd, Pasadena, CA 91101
A true LA literary landmark, SoCal's oldest bookstore is as famous for its vast inventory of tomes as it is for its author events and book signings (President Bill Clinton, Ray Bradbury, David Sedaris, Joan Didion, and Barbara Walters are just a few heavyweights who've been hosted here). [Photo]
695 E Colorado Blvd
Pasadena, CA 91101

9. Hennessey + Ingalls: One Santa Fe

300 S Santa Fe Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90013
After shuttering its Hollywood and SaMo outposts last year, the design-focused bookshop is set to unveil its relocated LA flagship in DTLA's Arts District in February. Once open, its sleek shelves will continue to stock a range of fashion, art, design, and architecture titles alongside hard-to-find magazines, stylish stationery, and more. [Photo]
300 S Santa Fe Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90013

10. Taschen

354 N Beverly Dr, Los Angeles, CA 90210
There's no better place to update your stylish coffee table than at Taschen. Offering tons of tomes across fashion, art, photography, design, and more, the publisher is also known for its damaged and slightly used book sales (which just happens to be coming up soon. [Photo]
354 N Beverly Dr
Los Angeles, CA 90210