A Different Light Bookstore

★★★★☆
  • 8853 Santa Monica Blvd

    Los Angeles, CA 90069

    Map & Directions
  • 310-854-6601

About A Different Light Bookstore

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4.0 5
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When you hear the words "book store" associated with a gay neighborhood, first impressions can leave you wondering. However, A Different Light is a different kind...actually, the normal kind of bookstore. Yes, they have gay-focused selection and the requisite collection of body books and stupid greeting cards, but it's a well-lit and light feeling book shop. Prices and selection are great. Patrons actually browse ... for books. Mostly. And this location is good for the casual stroll down the boulevard. Different Light is an excellent book store.

2
★★★★★

When you hear the words "book store" associated with a gay neighborhood, first impressions can leave you wondering. However, A Different Light is a different kind...actually, the normal kind of bookstore. Yes, they have gay-focused selection and the requisite collection of body books and stupid greeting cards, but it's a well-lit and light feeling book shop. Prices and selection are great. Patrons actually browse ... for books. Mostly. And this location is good for the casual stroll down the boulevard. Different Light is an excellent book store.

.

I go to this bookstore every now and then to check out a wider selection of gay-themed book items.

The clerks (with attitude!) who run the counter lack the knowledge and training in terms of providing the best customer service. (But then again, that seems to be the trend with bookstores nowadays, even the mom-&-pop's types. Gone are the days of competent sales clerks at A Different Light in West Hollywood; you'd have better luck in San Francisco.)

I know it's discouraging but it's really the only legit gay bookstore in Los Angeles. (Unless you're looking for adult magazines, then you can proceed to Circus of Books or Drake's.) If you must go to this bookstore, be prepared to:

1. Pay for parking. They don't have their own lot.

2. Have cash in hand. Avoid using your credit card because, based on my experience, you'll end up with a rude, ditzy and incompetent clerk who would mess up the transaction and bring about double charges on your account. (This happened to me a couple of times and when I called, they could not fix it over the phone---you really don't want that kind of hassle. I just let it go both times since the transactions were under $10 and I didn't really wanna spend the equivalent amount for gas just to have a $10 charge rectified in person.)

3. Most importantly, if you're buying items that are on sale, make sure that the clerk rings up the right total. Each and every time (and I mean that literally!) that I bought an item on sale, the clerk ended up ringing the full price of the item. (I know that it's good to give a little donation to the gay community, but really, that's just not the right way to go!)

On the upside, despite all the cons I've listed above, A Different Light still holds book signings and readings by gay and gay-friendly authors. So, go check it out anyway. Just be prepared for a little disappointment with the customer service demonstrated by the clerks.

1
★★★☆☆

I go to this bookstore every now and then to check out a wider selection of gay-themed book items.

The clerks (with attitude!) who run the counter lack the knowledge and training in terms of providing the best customer service. (But then again, that seems to be the trend with bookstores nowadays, even the mom-&-pop's types. Gone are the days of competent sales clerks at A Different Light in West Hollywood; you'd have better luck in San Francisco.)

I know it's discouraging but it's really the only legit gay bookstore in Los Angeles. (Unless you're looking for adult magazines, then you can proceed to Circus of Books or Drake's.) If you must go to this bookstore, be prepared to:

1. Pay for parking. They don't have their own lot.

2. Have cash in hand. Avoid using your credit card because, based on my experience, you'll end up with a rude, ditzy and incompetent clerk who would mess up the transaction and bring about double charges on your account. (This happened to me a couple of times and when I called, they could not fix it over the phone---you really don't want that kind of hassle. I just let it go both times since the transactions were under $10 and I didn't really wanna spend the equivalent amount for gas just to have a $10 charge rectified in person.)

3. Most importantly, if you're buying items that are on sale, make sure that the clerk rings up the right total. Each and every time (and I mean that literally!) that I bought an item on sale, the clerk ended up ringing the full price of the item. (I know that it's good to give a little donation to the gay community, but really, that's just not the right way to go!)

On the upside, despite all the cons I've listed above, A Different Light still holds book signings and readings by gay and gay-friendly authors. So, go check it out anyway. Just be prepared for a little disappointment with the customer service demonstrated by the clerks.

Pros: Selection, Book Signings

Cons: Incompetent Clerks with Attitude

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This is LA's main gay book store, located (of course) in the middle of West Hollywood. I think it's a great place to browse for both fiction and non-fiction. If you are looking for a specific title, it might be easier to order it online, though; I found it a bit less organized than other bookstores. For being a relatively small store it actually has quite a large selection of books and magazines. I like going there because I always find something fun to read and the staff are pretty friendly.

4
★★★★☆

This is LA's main gay book store, located (of course) in the middle of West Hollywood. I think it's a great place to browse for both fiction and non-fiction. If you are looking for a specific title, it might be easier to order it online, though; I found it a bit less organized than other bookstores. For being a relatively small store it actually has quite a large selection of books and magazines. I like going there because I always find something fun to read and the staff are pretty friendly.

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A Different Light is one of the best-known and oldest gay/lesbian bookstores in the country. The definition of what makes a book "lesbian" or "gay" seems flexible and inconsistent--stuff you would expect to find here is often curiously missing, while mainstream titles by heterosexuals sometimes make it to the shelves. Although there is quite a large selection (including a small but well-stocked adult section), lesbians might find themselves feeling a bit shortchanged. So, for that matter, will people of color and transgendered people. Their online offerings are far more diverse, so if you're feeling disappointed, take a look at their website.

However, for a wide-ranging sample of mainstream gay americana, this can't be beat.

4
★★★★☆

A Different Light is one of the best-known and oldest gay/lesbian bookstores in the country. The definition of what makes a book "lesbian" or "gay" seems flexible and inconsistent--stuff you would expect to find here is often curiously missing, while mainstream titles by heterosexuals sometimes make it to the shelves. Although there is quite a large selection (including a small but well-stocked adult section), lesbians might find themselves feeling a bit shortchanged. So, for that matter, will people of color and transgendered people. Their online offerings are far more diverse, so if you're feeling disappointed, take a look at their website.

However, for a wide-ranging sample of mainstream gay americana, this can't be beat.

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this is the city's best known gay and lesbian bookstore, with monthly art shows, readings, and nusical events. They have very nice and comfortable chairs for lounging.

4
★★★★☆

this is the city's best known gay and lesbian bookstore, with monthly art shows, readings, and nusical events. They have very nice and comfortable chairs for lounging.

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