Small World Books

Small World Books interior
Small World Books interior
Franny the cat


Small World Books is an unusual purveyor of literature, dedicated to the principle that the book you want is the book you should have. We are a general bookstore and carry a wide selection of titles published by both major and small presses. Located on the exciting Venice boardwalk, we have a well-read staff anxious to find the book you want.

Don't know what you want? Email us and tell us about other books you've liked and we'll find the next one.

Shopping SWB

Want to visit our store? We care about our customers. During this time of crisis, we are are allowing 4 browsers at a time in the store to maintain social distancing. Masks are required. We will provide hand sanitizer and gloves.

Want to order a book online? Visit us at Bookshop. Your book will be sent to your home or device and Small World Books gets the sale!

Want to order an audio book / e-book online? Visit us at Hummingbird. Super convenient!


Small World Books was founded by Mildred Gates and Mary Goodfader in the old Boys Shopping Center in 1969. When the lease was dropped in 1976, Mary’s husband Bob discovered a lovely old warehouse on Ocean Front Walk, sporting graffiti that read “stop bombing in Cambodia”. Envisioning its potential, Bob wondered if it wouldn’t be a good location for the bookstore and perhaps a small restaurant next door. And with the rise in popularity of skating, chain-saw jugglers and artists selling their craft ware, life on the Venice Boardwalk at Small World Books became a wonderful adventure.

Small World Books exterior historic

Since the beginning the bookstore received wonderful support from the eclectic community; authors came for signings; art bedecked the walls and the dialogue between staff and its readers kept the excitement going through the years. Mary and Bob’s children, Jay and Debra, grew up reading on the toadstools in the children’s section, moving later into managerial and consulting roles. Now the grandsons, Ty and Will, stretch out on those same stools, petting the latest in a long string of cats that have always called the store a home. The celebration of the bookstore's 50th anniversary was a tremendous success with Mary receiving a commendation from the City of Los Angeles.

Small World Books continues to this day in its role as a provider of good literature for the Venice locals and customers from around the world that make a point of visiting every year!


From the 10 (or 405 S to 10 W)
Exit 4th/5th St, Left on 4th St
Right on Pico Blvd
Left on Nielson Way
Continue on Pacific Ave
Right on Market St
Enter the parking lot* for
Small World Books & Sidewalk Café
Walk one block north on Venice Boardwalk

From the 405 N
Exit Washington Blvd/Venice Blvd
Left on Sepulveda Blvd
Left on Venice Blvd
Right on Pacific Ave
Left on Market St
Enter the parking lot* for
Small World Books & Sidewalk Café
Walk one block north on Venice Boardwalk

*Free 30 minute parking in our lot on weekdays.