Well-seasoned Los Angeles natives still speak fondly of the Cité des Livres, the only French bookstore to exist in LA. Unfortunately for Francophiles, it closed in 2001, so Frenchly has compiled a list of other bookstores and a library that offer Francophone literature. These are the 5 places in Los Angeles where you can find titles in French. Happy reading!
453 South Spring Street, Downtown
Located in a downtown bank-turned-independent-retailer space, The Last Bookstore is definitely worth the visit. The vaulted ceilings and labyrinth of books only add to the unique ambiance of this bookworm’s heaven. The French section of used books is composed mainly of a haphazard variety of plays, essays, novels, literary classics, and even historical anthologies. The best part? Most of the French books cost from $3 to $5.
1818 North Vermont Avenue, Los Feliz, LA
Skylight Books, an independent bookstore in Los Feliz, carries only brand new books. The small selection of several dozen French works is largely made up of classic novels, books like Les Fleurs du mal, Les Misérables, and the like. The price tags can sometimes be a little expensive, but supporting your local bookstore and getting a new French release is worth the cost.
10580 West Pico Boulevard, Rancho Park, LA
Children’s Book World is fondly referred to as a paradise for young readers, and aptly so. It offers a wide selection of French-language books for children at all reading levels. There are chapter books, picture books, and board books, plus some Astérix and Obélix! Regularly scheduled Saturday storytelling and author meet-and-greets only add to this location’s magic.
630 West 5th Street, Downtown LA
As far as libraries and bookstores are concerned, the Los Angeles Central Library is hard to beat. It has the largest stock of French books in Los Angeles, nested on the shelves of one of the most beautiful buildings in the city. Readers can borrow contemporary novels and classic selections of philosophical and historical titles. The hardest part of visiting this library is deciding which book to check out.
8818 Sunset Boulevard, West Hollywood
Nestled on the world-famous Sunset Boulevard in Beverly Hills, Book Soup is anything but inconspicuous. The neon lights and the two golden dog statues that guard the books are hard to miss. Though the flashy exterior of the store catches the eye, the enormous selection of books keeps visitors coming back for more. The corner of French works constitutes only a fraction of the some-60,000 books for sale, but the titles are carefully curated and sure to please any Francophile.
Images courtesy of the bookstores and libraries.