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10 Independent Bookstores You Should Visit

10 Independent Bookstores You Should Visit 1

One of the best ways to discover what a city has to offer is to take some time to explore the places that aren’t on the tourist maps.  Local neighborhood shops, restaurants, and bookstores are often the social and cultural lifeblood of a community.

Did you know that independent bookstores are making a comeback?  So many cities throughout the United States have fantastic independent bookstores that provide a great space to spend time, relax, meet friends, and read.  They are often a unique and fun experience, with quirky designs and cavernous aisles you can get lost in.

Spend an hour or a day getting those new must-have novels, discovering an offbeat title you never knew you wanted, or re-discovering a lost classic.  If you’re a collector, you can even find things you can’t get anywhere else, like rare or out-of-print editions, as well as copies signed by some of your favorite authors.

Here are just 10 independent bookstores in awesome cities you should definitely visit!

1. Powell’s Books, Portland, Oregon10 Independent Bookstores You Should Visit 2This is the world’s largest independent bookstore.  With over 3,500 different sections,  you can easily get lost in Powell’s Books.  This is the place to go for rare and out of print books.  They buy around 3,000 used books a day.

2. The Last Bookstore, Los Angeles, California

10 Independent Bookstores You Should Visit 3The Last Bookstore is part bookstore, part vinyl music store, and part art exhibit.  They do some amazing things with books and we are sure you will want to take a photo or two!  They also have a small stage on the ground floor for readings and performances.


3. BookPeople, Austin, Texas

10 Independent Bookstores You Should Visit 4You won’t feel rushed in this bookstore!  The staff is extremely helpful and will go out of their way to help you find what you are looking for.  In addition to great books, they have a lot of unusual gifts that would be great to bring home for yourself or a friend.


4. Alabama Booksmith, Homewood, Alabama

10 Independent Bookstores You Should Visit 5What makes this bookstore so special is that every book is a signed copy!  A book lovers dream!  They have hundreds of signed first edition books!


5. Mutiny Information Cafe, Denver, Colorado

10 Independent Bookstores You Should Visit 6This is the cultural hub of Denver!  Mutiny Information Cafe is a bookstore, coffee shop, club, comedy venue and comic book store. Some say this bookstore stands at the center of Denver’s artistic community.


6. Baldwin Book Barn, Westchester, Pennsylvania

10 Independent Bookstores You Should Visit 7This cool bookstore used to be an actual barn.  Hence the name, Book Barn.  You will find five floors of rare and vintage books.  And cats to keep you company while you browse.


7. The Storybook Shoppe, Bluffton, South Carolina

10 Independent Bookstores You Should Visit 8If you are looking for children’s books, this is the place to go!  This adorable bookstore carries only children’s literature and every book is selected by the owner.  There are great events that happen through the week here as well.


8. Strand Bookstore, New York City, New York

10 Independent Bookstores You Should Visit 9This is considered a readers paradise.  Get away from the hustle and bustle of New York City for a minute and lose yourself in this four-story bookstore.  In addition to books, they have great gifts.


9. Malaprop’s Bookstore & Cafe, Asheville, North Carolina

10 Independent Bookstores You Should Visit 10This bookstore has a great selection and a great location.  The very friendly staff will help you find anything you need.  Once you have your books head over to the dessert/coffee bar and stay awhile.


10. The Writer’s Block, Las Vegas, Nevada

10 Independent Bookstores You Should Visit 11This is a quirky, creative fun bookshop located off the strip on Freemont Street. This place is full of charm.  Past all of the amazing books, you will find a hidden room in the back.  Just walk through the canopy of trees and chirping birds.   Don’t forget to say hi to the resident rabit on your way out who usually sits near the register.

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