Despite having lived in LA for three months in the summer of 2017 with my boyfriend, I never made it across to Los Feliz. A laid-back hillside enclave that is lived in and frequented by many-a creative, filmmaker and photographer, it boasts casual eateries, eclectic boutiques and some of the city’s best outdoor dining spots. And while I was hoping to explore a bit more of Los Feliz during my recent fleeting stint in LA, I had a hard time dragging myself out of bed at my hotel. With barely an hour to spare and a deep and pressing need to include a Starbucks iced-latte in my morning excursion, I spent what little time I did have available in popular neighbourhood bookstore, Skylight Books, before spending the afternoon on Venice Beach.
There are two branches of Skylight Books – just a couple of doors apart – down a shop-lined street in this popular LA suburb. The first, smaller, shop is called the Arts Annex, and specialises in art and photography books and graphic novels and stocks an impressive range of literary journals featuring everything from The Paris Review of Books to lesser known titles such as Black Clock Literary Magazine. The second is the main store, with a huge Fiscus tree at its centre, benches on which customers can sit and read, and, of course, a large skylight in its roof, flooding the shop in a natural, warm glow.
I spent the first half of my free hour in the Arts Annex, flicking through the candy coloured literary journals, and perusing the shop’s biography shelves, before buying myself a copy of M Train by Patti Smith. I then ventured a couple of doors down to the bigger and brighter main shop, which truly is a sight to behold for anyone with a penchant for books. Unlike many indie bookstores, which tend to be slightly ramshackled, Skylight Books has a polished exterior with stylishly stocked shelves and is both inviting and homely to boot. You’ll find a wide and beautiful stationary offering – perfect for anyone who wants to inject some organisation into their lives or simply for those who likes their paper pretty – and then all manner of books to satiate even the most ardent of bookworm’s appetite. Offering everything from new releases, to classics, to travel and children’s, there too is an LA history section and a calendar of brilliant bookish events.
The ultimate neighbourhood bookshop, Skylight Books is a quintessential literary LA hangout perfect for both locals and tourists alike to rendevouz and celebrate their love of all things bookish.
About Skylight Books
Skylight Books is a general bookstore serving the historic Los Angeles neighbourhoods of Hollywood, Los Feliz, Silver Lake, Echo Park and Downtown; located in the shadow of Griffith Park and its iconic Observatory, and surrounded by the architecture of Frank Lloyd Wright, R. M. Schindler, and Richard Neitra. Our eclectic clientele, including many local artists, musicians, writers, and scholars, challenges us to provide the cutting edge of culture including the best in literary fiction, books on music, art, film and theatre, Los Angeles regional culture and history, graphic literature, children’s books, political theory, and more.
Skylight Books opened November 1, 1996, on the former site of another local bookstore landmark, Chatterton’s.
Useful Information about Skylight Books
1818 North Vermont Avenue
Telephone: (323) 660 1175
Opening times: 10am-10pm every day
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