What’s your favorite independent bookstore?

A reader friend recently quipped that she wished someone would make her a punch card—like one of those frequent shopper cards, you know?—for all the independent bookstores she visits on her travels. She doesn’t really care what the reward is, she just wants the satisfaction of filling it up.

I get it. My own family is always googling local indies when we travel, because we love to hit up new bookstores when we can. Or at least I do, and my family is more or less happy to come along.

(Some favorite stores we’ve visited in the last 12 months: Read It and Eat, Chicago. Church Street Coffee and Books, Birmingham. Sundog Books, Seaside. E. Shaver, Bookseller, Savannah. McNally Jackson Books, Manhattan.)

And even when I’m not on the road, I still stumble across good things related to these stores. On social media, or in newsletters, obviously. But also books and merchandise—when I was browsing for a used copy of a certain title online last week, I was delighted to find a copy for sale by Housing Works Bookstore Café (pictured above), and snatched it right up.

I keep a long list (in my bullet journal, of course) of the independent bookstores I’d like to visit one day, and it’s so satisfying to be able to tick them off the list.

This weekend I’m visiting a favorite indie, the Novel Neighbor in St. Louis, for our What Should I Read Next LIVE event, so I’ve add independents on the brain this week. I have a zillion questions (as always) for its owner, Holland, about the behind-the-scenes from her point of view, and about how I, as a reader, can better support indies.

My list of bookstores to visit is already long, but—much like my burgeoning and impossibly-long TBR—I’m happy to add to it.

Help me build my list? Readers, tell us your favorite indies—and why you love them—in comments. 

P.S. Holland and I discussed our bookstore/travel habits in this episode of What Should I Read Next. And Independent Bookstore Day is coming up soon: mark your calendars for April 29.


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    • Fox Tale Books in Woodstock, GA!!! ? They are consistently on Best Bookstore lists in Atlanta and for good reason! The staff and owners are amazing and they have regular book sognings and guest speakers. Their selection for both adults and children is incredible.

  1. Brittney says:

    If you’re ever in the Midwest, Prairie Lights Bookstore in Iowa City, IA is such a gem. I loved going there when I was in college and am thinking of taking a trip back to see Stephanie Danler when she’s on her Sweetbitter book tour.

  2. Patricia says:

    Lemuria Bookstore in Jackson Mississippi. If you are going to make it to Square Books in Oxford it would be a shame not to drive down the Natchez Trace Parkway down to Jackson and visit Lemuria and maybe Eudora Welty’s home. As an aside I recently attended a reading by Paulette Jiles that Lemuria sponsored at the Welty house.

  3. Melisa says:

    The Booksellers in Wolferboro NH. Beautiful Location on Lake Winnipesaukee.
    And The Book Oasis in Stoneham MA. An abundance of new and used books.

    • Karen Floyd Shepherd says:

      Glad to hear you mention The Country Bookseller in Wolfeboro, NH. It’s a wonderful place, with such friendly people. Where else can you get an armful of books and a bag of scones?

  4. Arcadia Books in Spring Green, WI. This is the heart of Frank Lloyd Wright country. Taliesen East is located there plus the Peninsula Players for first rate outdoor live theatre. Gorgeous countryside. When I lived in Madison, WI, this was a favorite and frequent outing. Now that I am in St Paul, MN, I am only blocks away from Garrison Keillor’s Common Good Books and not far away from Louise Erdrich’s Birchbark Books.
    Do you know the charming little book Footnotes from the World’s Greatest Bookstores by Bob Eckstein. Sweet illustrations and a great traveling temptation!

  5. Caitlin says:

    Mr B’s Emporium of Reading Delights in Bath, UK. It’s completely gorgeous, has amazingly knowledgeable staff and offer things like “Book Spas” and “Reading Subscriptions” as gifts (or for yourself!). Plus it is a completely brilliant name for a bookshop! [http://www.mrbsemporium.com/]
    John Sandoe Books in London, UK. My former boss asked me to go and pick something up for her and I immediately fell in love with the way they had books stacked going all up the stairs. It’s slightly difficult to find things unaided, but it is very charming. [http://www.johnsandoe.com/]
    Finally, it’s not a single bookshop but a town – Hay-on-Wye, UK. So many bookshops, so little time on each visit. Plus, the Hay Festival at the end of each May is incredible. They have just realised this year’s catalogue and even if you can’t attend, I suggest checking it out for book recommendations. Plus some of the talks end up on the BBC or online so you can watch even if you live a long way away. [https://www.hayfestival.com]. I’m lucky enough to be able to go each year, it’s become a vital part of my holiday year planning.

  6. Keely says:

    Rainy Day Books in Fairway, Kansas. I don’t live in Kansas City anymore, but frequented this quaint, amazing shop often when I did!
    In Oklahoma City, where I am now, I’m in love with Commonplace Books, even though they haven’t yet moved into their permanent location! (That’s happening later this month, though.)

  7. steph says:

    Between the Covers in Telluride, CO
    Absolute favourite: Blue Bicycle in Charleston, SC…great books, events, but the people make it exceptional!

  8. Katie says:

    The Curious Iguana in Frederick, MD. It’s a tiny little shop but filled to the brim with great books and great people. Plus downtown Frederick is such a fun place to wander around!

  9. Marci says:

    Bookpeople in Austin, TX. Their lovely forward facing bookshelves stacked with staff recommendations make me a little giddy! ❤️❤️❤️

  10. Kari Ann says:

    My favorites:
    E. Shaver Bookseller in Savannah, GA
    Bell’s Book Store, Palo Alto, CA
    Elliot Bay Book Company, Seattle, WA

    I’m heading back to NYC in a couple weeks and hope to hit up some new stores in addition to a trip back to The Strand.

  11. Sarah says:

    The Book Loft in Columbus Ohio is my absolute favorite! It has 32 rooms full of books (33 if you count the sale table on the porch). It’s easy to get lost in, but that’s really just an excuse to look at more books.


  12. Amy Huber says:

    BrightLight Books in Fern Park, Florida (Orlando outskirts). All kinds of great used books/CDs/DVDs and the largest collection of Christian Theology in Florida. Also our sizable amazing collection of antique and vintage books is just .5 mile away in a vintage shop called The Mill. We aren’t just about Disney here in Florida!

  13. Christine says:

    I agree with your friend… I wish I had a punch card too! I try to visit at least one independent bookstore every place I travel. Some of my recent favorites are Northshire Bookstore (Manchester, VT), Argosy Books (NYC), Dingle Bookshop (Dingle, Ireland), New Dominion Bookshop (Charlottesville, VA), Brattle Book Shop (Boston, MA) and Riverby Books (Fredericksburg, VA).

  14. Sarah says:

    I long for Bookpeople in my hometown (Austin), but the best we have in Dallas is Wild Detectives a bar, bites, and bookstore (http://thewilddetectives.com/). It is a small shop in an old home, but they’ll order anything for you and get a beer on the house when it comes in! It’s the perfect spot to spend a lazy afternoon reading and browsing. They are shifting away from carrying mainstream books to being a fully curated collection. Deep Vellum (also in Dallas) is still on my list to visit.

    • Debra Benton says:

      Since it has been three years since this post, I assume you have found Interabang in Dallas. Small shop now that they had to move due to the tornado in 2019, but such a great staff!

  15. Cathy Mills says:

    Sundance Books in Reno, NV. Glorious old white mansion, each room a different genre. New, used, and a small well curated music selection.

  16. Tina says:

    Obsessed with this post!! I’m so excited to read through the comments and add more to my list. I’m going to The Book Loft of German Village in Columbus, Ohio today and I’m so excited! It’s supposed to be huge- 32 rooms of glory. Also going to Los Angeles this weekend and I’ll be visiting The Last Bookstore. I visited the Novel Neighbor on your recommendation the last time I was in STL and it was charming 🙂 My favorite local (Chicago) ones are Myopic Books (hipster heaven), Open Books, and 57th Street Books.

  17. Marilyn says:

    The second one on your list, Malaprops, is a favorite of mine. But, while you are in North Carolina, you must visit my all-time favorite, McIntyres Books, located in Ferrington Village near Chapel Hill. They boast of having one of the largest author events/programs in the south. It is a lovely place. http://www.fearrington.com/mcintyres-books/

  18. Gig says:

    The Bookloft of German Village in Columbus, Ohio! You feel like you’re in a castle or magical place with all the nooks and crannies! 32 ROOMS OF BOOKS located in a pre-cival war era building! Must be added to every bibliophile’s bucket list! http://www.bookloft.com

  19. Colleen says:

    Rakestraw Books in Danville, CA. The owner, Michael, and his staff are wonderful and helping you find the perfect book for you and the store hosts a ton of author/book events for the community. The fact that it is a thriving bookstore in a sleepy, small suburb is even more remarkable.

  20. Kendra says:

    Green Apple books in San Francisco is the best indie bookstore in the city. It’s got all these weird little rooms and half flights of stairs and is so wonderful to get lost in. It reminds me a bit of Powells in Portland. It’s the absolute best.

  21. Carrie says:

    The gem of Wichita, KS is our indie, Watermark Books and Café. Located in the historic College Hill area, it is the sight of some fabulous author readings, like Elizabeth Gilbert, Jane Smiley,Stephen King, Kate Atkinson, Augusten Burroughs, Dave Barry, and many up and coming writers. The staff is an eclectic blend of both hip, college age booksellers as well as the mid-aged retired teachers all who can make a recommendation. C-Span recently shot a show there! My book club, along with many others meet there. It’s owned by Sarah Bagby who is prominent in the book world; president of the ABA, a judge of the Kirkus Awards and National Book Award. And, the café is yummy too!

  22. Lauren says:

    The Book Rack in St. Louis is a true treasure. It’s a used book store and absolutely charming! I’m a bit biased, but I once heard it described as a “Rare Unicorn”!!! If you have time this weekend, you should stop by. I’ll also be at your event at The Novel Neighbor on Friday, and let me just say, I am sooo looking forward to geeking out with books and good company.

  23. Kim says:

    Quail Ridge Books in Raleigh, NC! This store has stood the test of time and has become a beacon in the community. Amazing selection of books, knowledgeable staff, and their new store is breathtakingly gorgeous!

  24. Denise says:

    I’m biased because I lead the Daytime Fiction Discussion Group there, but One More Page Book & More in Arlington, VA (just outside Washington, D.C.) is the BEST! They have books, wine and chocolate…what more could you want in life?! There are free monthly discussion groups in every genre, and it has a friendly and warm atmosphere that makes you want to quit your life so you can hang out there and read all day. http://www.onemorepagebooks.com

  25. Anki says:

    The Toadstool Bookshop (http://www.toadbooks.com/) in southern New Hampshire. Three locations: Milford, Keene, and Peterborough and all are delightful. All of them have new and used books (the size of the used book section depends on the store). Regular events and groups and welcoming staff. The closest one to me is the Milford location.

  26. Kinsey O. says:

    I am eagerly anticipating the opening of a new indie bookstore VERY close to my home, called Interabang Books (@interabangbooks on Instagram) in Dallas.

  27. Tam says:

    Riverrow Bookshop in Owego, NY (https://riverow.com/) Three floors of books set in a beautiful corner building with old wood floors and large windows. It’s beautiful! Laura, the owner, is amazing and seems to always be around the shop if you have any questions.

    • Elizabeth says:

      I have to echo this one, even though it’s already well known. I grew up in Portland, and my parents would give me $50 for my birthday and let me wander around Powell’s for several hours. Pure bliss.

  28. Liz says:

    Literati Bookstore in Ann Arbor, MI. Not only is Ann Arbor an amazing town to explore, this bookstore and coffee shop has a great children’s section with a cozy reading nook overlooking downtown.

  29. Casey says:

    Right across the river from the “big” city of Columbia, SC is a little city called West Columbia. There’s a precious used book store there called Ed’s Editions. It’s gorgeous inside and I can browse the stacks for hours. Bonus: they have a cat.

  30. Kelly says:

    There is also Left Bank Books in Saint Louis….It’s located in the City in the Central West End. Yet, I’m partial to Novel Neighbor too because they are so close to home!

  31. Cecilia says:

    OH how I love this post! Anne, when were you in Birmingham? I live just 20 miles away and I’ve never heard of Church Street Coffee and Books, but will check it out. BTW, did you know on their FB page, Real Simple magazine and Yelp recently put a list of the best independent bookstores and this one was their pick for AL?! I do have a recommendation though- City Lights Bookstore in Sylva, NC. Its a lovely 2 story building with several rooms of organized books, a cat or two that loves hanging around, and very knowledgeable staff eager to help. Downstairs is a lovely café where you can enjoy lunch and yummy desserts. I highly recommend it. Also, I got to mark off a bucket list item, made it it Powell’s in Portland this past January-even though time was limited, I made most of time. A book lovers DREAM!

    • Anne says:

      Last summer in Birmingham for a lovely (and FAST) visit.

      I’m jealous of your trip to Powell’s! Of course I want to go there one day. 🙂

  32. Grace says:

    Love it! There are my favourites I’ve visited so far:
    In Kelowna, BC there is Robbie Rare Books which is connected to a fantastic indie coffee shop as well. They’ve got so many 50s and 60s art prints covering the walls and you will find antiques from the same time period as well. Plus the owner has the smartest, most well-behaved dog I’ve ever seen that hangs out there while he’s working.
    In Victoria, BC there is Munro’s Books (which was actually ranked the third best bookstore in the world). It is in a historic building with the most amazing ceiling and windows.
    Then in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan there is McNally Robinson which has a huge, real tree through the middle of the store with a spiral staircase going around it to take you up to the second floor.

  33. Stephanie says:

    Fair Trade books in Red Wing, MN. It’s a quaint little town that we visited for our 10 year anniversary, filled with lots of local shops. The owner of the bookstore does his own “what should I read next?” when you visit the shop for the first time. He asks about your favorite books and genres and then gives you a free book based on your preferences.

  34. I have so many favorite indies – but the two local ones I love the most are Brookline Booksmith and the Harvard Book Store, both in the Boston area. Wonderful selections, basements full of used books, tons of great events. I could browse either one for hours (and have).

  35. Robin Glossner says:

    I always visit independent bookstores when I travel, even though I buy most of my books through Amazon (to my shame.) I love Brookline Booksmith in Coolidge Corner, Brookline MA, and Broadside Books in Northampton MA. For longevity, it is tough to beat Otto Bookstore in Williamsport PA, where I live now. It’s been going strong since 1841, and may be the oldest independent in continuous operation in the country. http://www.ottobookstore.com/

  36. I recently moved to Berkeley and I’m absolutely spoiled when it comes to indie bookstores. My two favorites that any book lover who comes to Berkeley must check out are Mrs. Dalloway’s and UC Press Bookstore. Both are stunning!

    • I stopped at Mrs. Dalloway’s after reading this post and discovered the bookstores in the bay area have a passport you can pick up. You get a stamp for each store you visit. If you visit ten, you are entered to win lots of books! It’s like a punch card 😀

  37. Nancy says:

    Wild Rumpus in Minneapolis. (I would have mentioned even if they hadn’t just been named Bookstore of the Year by Publisher’s Weekly) A children’s bookstore with live animals that includes teen readers in its audience. They carry new releases and “what’s hot” along with unusual and traditional fare. The staff know their stuff! You don’t need kids to love this place.

  38. Cheralaine Cole-Johnson says:

    Book People in Austin TX. They have great author events ALL THE TIME! I travel from Dallas (~150 miles) to attend. In fact, I’m going to two of their events this weekend.

  39. Kelly says:

    Warwick’s in La Jolla, California is a fantastically curated bookstore, as well as a office supply and gift shop. They host some incredible author events, both intimate small groups and large, auditorium lectures. We love it as an after school stop; I can browse the tables while my kids find fun school supplies and the latest Rick Riordan or Dr. Kitty Cat release. The nearby ocean is a bonus!

  40. Mary Jane McNeill says:

    Wellllll, since you’ve already got The Bookshelf in Thomasville, Georgia (HI ANNIE!!!!!) on your list, I’ll have add my second favorite bookstore, Bunch of Grapes in Martha’s Vineyard. (I see a tax-deduction in your future…business expense!)

  41. Katie says:

    Moravian bookstore in Bethlehem PA. Its the oldest bookstore in the country, it opened in 1745 (although its moved buildings a few times).

    • Karen Floyd Shepherd says:

      I thoroughly enjoyed this bookstore when I was in Bethlehem (pronounced Bethlem by the natives) approx 10 years ago. One room led to another….I could have spent the whole day there, but had to get to a friend’s wedding.

  42. Sonya says:

    I see someone already commented with the Toadstool Bookshops in New Hampshire, so I’m going to second that. (I lived in Keene for four years and plan to move back someday, so that one has a special place in my heart in particular.) And I’ll also suggest Boswell’s Books in Shelburne Falls, MA. Not only is the bookstore equipped with a good mix of new and used books /and/ a resident cat, but the SF downtown is adorable, and there’s an excellent little candy and fudge shop just across the bridge from Boswell’s. Highly recommend.

  43. sue spencer says:

    Powell’s book store in Portland, Or. four stories high and a whole city block wide. Let’s just say “it’s a good thing they have a deli” makes it easier to stay all day. They even give you a map to find your way around.

  44. If you ever come to Minneapolis, MN, you have to go to Wild Rumpus! It’s a children’s bookstore based on the book The Salamander Room, which is a kids book about a boy that wants to keep a salamander but his mom tells him the salamander need outdoor elements to thrive, so as the book progresses, the boys rooms becomes more and more like the outdoors. And so does Wild Rumpus. As you walk further back in the store, it looks like the ceiling is splitting open so you can see the sky. It’s so cool! They also have tons of animals. All of them are in cages except the cats and chickens. I take my nephews there every year and they just LOVE it. And there’s a great local ice cream store close by and it’s a short walk to one of our many lakes.

    I actually try to bring adult out-of-town visitors there because a person of any age will appreciate it – especially someone that loves books!

  45. Sarah Jonsgaard says:

    I absolutely love Face In A Book in El Dorado Hills. It’s the perfect size, cozy seating, a terrific selection of books and lovely trinkets. It’s all the things I would expect from a sweet bookstore tucked into a big city, yet it is right in the heart of suburbia.

  46. Susan says:

    I love my island home, but HATE that we have ZERO indie bookstores and only one big name bookstore. If anyone wants to move to Maui, here’s an Unfilled niche!! I promise to be a frequent customer!

  47. Phaedra says:

    I live in Portland, OR. So .. hard not to say Powell’s. Because it’s amazing. I don’t think I have to sell this to anyone here. LOL

  48. Kathie Lynch Nutting says:

    R J Julia Booksellers in Madison CT. Wonderful staff, great spot to hang out and find great reads.

  49. Dorothy Turner says:

    Phoenix Books Misty Valley in Chester, Vermont and An Unlikely Story in Plainville, MA (owned by Jeff Kinney!)

  50. Dorothy Turner says:

    Also Montague Book Mill for used books. Their slogan is “Books you don’t need in a place you can’t find.”

  51. Brittany Bailey says:

    So this is the perfect timing for this post. I am leaving tomorrow after work to go to Texas with my mom to visit my cousin. As we were planning our trip my mom asked what sort of things I would like to do on the trip. My answer was “visit as many independent bookstores as possible”. I found one in Dallas that I want to visit. If anyone has any suggestions of others in Kentucky, Tennessee, Arkansas, or around Plano TX. please feel free to share!

    • Sarah says:

      Did you see my comment about Wild Detectives in Dallas? There’s also Deep Vellum (haven’t been) and for used stores there’s Lucky Dog Books. 🙂

    • Kandi says:

      I live in Little Rock and our one true indie is not that special…Wordsworth Books in case you want to go, but there is a non-profit store run by the Central Arkansas Library System that is awesome. It’s called Rivermarket Books & Gifts, located in downtown Little Rock in the Rivermarket district. They sell almost-new books for a great price and have a very nice selection of reading-related gifts as well. If you happen to be in NE Arkansas, That Bookstore in Blytheville is a surprise treat.

    • Kelley says:

      Hello! I am from Dallas and am searching for the perfect independent bookstore. Which ones do you like there?? Thanks!!

  52. Danielle Edwards says:


    This bookstore is my favorite place to visit when I’m in Lake Placid, NY. They have a huge collection of Adirondack literature, especially love the “Adirondack Kids” books. http://adirondack-books.com/kids-corner/ We have read most of them and they inspired a family trip to Inlet, NY, a climb up Bald Mountain, a visit to the Adirondack Museum, a ride on the Adirondack Carousel, a ride on the North Creek train and quite a few restaurant visits. The people are lovely and friendly, it’s just a wonderful place to stop in and have a nose around.

    Hoss’s Country Corner http://www.hossscountrycorner.com/ is a fun stop on our way to the Northway (I-89). They have a big selection of Adirondack books, too! This is a general store but it’s all things Adirondack! A great stop!

  53. Kara says:

    John K. King in Detroit is a must-see! Four stories of over 1 million books in an old glove factory: it’s the coolest, and also Americas largest used and rare bookstore. #saynicethingsaboutDetroit

    • Jen M says:

      I agree! I used to spend many a Saturday morning there when I lived in the area and still contact them when I’m looking for a hard to find title!

  54. Judy says:

    Anne, would you share your master list with us? 🙂 This is a favorite travel activity for my husband and me as well.
    A few weeks ago we visited Phoenix, and enjoyed a stop at Changing Hands in Tempe. Back home in central PA, our favorite bookseller is Hearts & Minds in Dallastown.

  55. Nanette says:

    The Twin Cities is blessed with a batch of independent bookstores. Wild Rumpus (just named Publisher’s Weekly store of the year), Red Balloon, Subtext Books, Common Good Books. We also have Once Upon a Crime (a mystery store). Since we often get named as one of the most literate cities, it’s no surprise. I also like Drury Lane Books in Grand Marais MN.

  56. Laura says:

    The King’s English (Salt Lake City) has a great selection. Eureka Books (Eureka,CA) is a beautiful two-story shop. Our local indie in Albuquerque -Bookworks- is great and hosts some really sweet events.

  57. Mandy Turner says:

    I spied Book People in Austin on your list already; my other fave is Macdonald Book Shop in Estes Park, CO – my family vacation there each summer is never complete without a trip to the book shop. I also visited KramerBooks in DC last week and enjoyed it a lot.

  58. Emily says:

    Glad to see Square Books in Oxford, MS, on your list! Best independent bookstore in the country … and Oxford is must-visit! 🙂

  59. Gabby says:

    The King’s English in Salt Lake City is fantastic! It is owned by a British woman and so as I was born in England it gives me a sense of nostalgia! It is a converted house so you just walk around in a little maze of tiny rooms filled to the brim with books. Not to mention the customer service is fantastic no matter if you are less than a year old and going for story time on Saturday morning or and adult gathering at one of their many book clubs they host the space for.

  60. Jessica says:

    Absolute favorite is Book and Bar in Portsmouth, NH http://www.bookandbar.com/(a glass of wine or a local brew with your used book browsing?? Um, yes, please!) And local favorites in Boston are the Harvard Bookstore http://www.harvard.com/ (don’t let the name fool, it’s not the college campus bookstore, it’s just an independent bookstore in Harvard Square) and Brookline Booksmith https://www.brooklinebooksmith.com/ (I could wander that place for hours!!)

  61. Mary Ann Thyme says:

    The Tattered Cover bookstore in Denver (on 2nd Street in Cherry Creek) is my favorite indie bookstore. A very large bookstore with a small bookstore feel–cozy comfortable couches and overstuffed chairs to sit in, a great cafe, incredible selection of new and used books and the feeling of a “community gathering place.” I would go to The Tattered Cover to pick up something to read and end up spending several hours browsing the stacks (2 floors worth), sitting in a comfy chair and reading a magazine, sipping a great cup of coffee, etc.

  62. Alicia Unger says:

    Anne, I may be biased because I live here, but London has so many amazing independent bookstores! From eclectic to stately, hipster and everything in between. Almost every time I go into the city I pass by yet another gem I want to stop and spend half a day getting lost in. Perhaps my favourite though are indie bookstores in small towns – in that regard The Bookseller Crow in Crystal Palace and Village Books in Dulwich are both cool little finds. I have recently learned about a little town a few hours northeast of London called Hay-on-Wye (you may have seen it on some people’s beautiful bookstagram accounts). It has now catapulted to the top of my road trip list. So if you are ever planning a trip to the UK, yes take in the sights – but make sure to include some bookstore browsing buffer time on your itinerary.

    PS – I loved hearing from Holland about the Novel Neighbor on WSIRN. She had some great bookish gift ideas! Hope the event in St Louis goes well – sounds like lots of fun!

    • Kandi says:

      Alicia, would you mind listing some of your favorites in London? My family will be there for a vacation in July and I’ve planned lots of unscheduled downtime for bookish pursuits!

      • Alicia says:

        Hi Kandi,

        Apologies for the delay in replying! I have to confess that a lot of my bookstore browsing has been from the outside looking in as I have two little ones and most little indie shops are not super buggy friendly. However that being said, I would recommend that you check out Eton Antique Bookshop. It’s a cute little shop located in the quaint village of Eton (as in the place where the Princes went to school). I would recommend taking a day trip outside of London to Windsor. Windsor Castle is by far my favourite tourist attraction and the town of Windsor is lovely – awesome shops & food options, and then Eton is just a lovely stroll across the river. If you are going to make lots of tourist stops on your trip it is worth looking into the London Pass. It will save you money if you are looking to see a lot in a short amount of time. If you are looking to only see a few things and really savour them then it’s probably not worth the money. Hope this helps! Enjoy your trip London is an amazing city!

  63. Samantha says:

    I have 2… In no specific order in Columbus Ohio in German Village is The Book Loft, 32 rooms of books! The place is huge has good prices and I love going there!
    The other is The Book Village in Dublin/Grandview. It is an old church converted into a new/used bookstore. Super discounted prices and I have definitely found some real gems there! I frequent both haunts!

    • Susan Bradford says:

      My favorite independent book store is Quail Ridge Bookstore in Raleigh, NC. I like it for many reasons but mainly it is the place where I get to hear authors speak. It is a wonderful place to be!

  64. Amanda H. says:

    The Novel Neighbor is my favorite in STL (where I live) but Left Bank Books here is amazing too–I was so sad when the downtown location closed, because it was only a block from work!

  65. Mer B says:

    Little Shop of Stories in Decatur, GA is our favorite local, but follow my husband’s Instagram – @indiebookstoretour for a nice selection of national (and a few intl) bookstores we’ve visited on our travels!

    • Cecilia says:

      I just found that instagram and am now following! how fun! I’m not far from GA- next door in AL so I will be adding this one to my list 🙂

  66. Jennifer O. says:

    East City Bookshop on Capitol Hill in DC and two children’s bookstores: Hooray for Books! in Alexandria, VA and Little Shop of Stories in Decatur, GA. I also recently visited The Book Lady in Savannah. I couldn’t not with that name!

  67. Dana says:

    Mine is the local indie right down the street, Park Road Books in Charlotte, NC. Great owners and their knowledgeable, friendly staff are terrific sources for new titles. Many long time folks there. They have a bookstore dog named Yola who makes her book picks every month along with the other employees. They champion local and indie published authors with book signings and shelf space. They also regularly host more well-known authors.

  68. Michelle Wilson says:

    Book Bar, Denver CO. It is simply the best. Small, well curated stock. Lots and lots of activities. Staff is friendly and helpful. Is it a book store or is it a wine bar? Yes, plus don’t miss the small plates and sweet treats perfect for eating while holding a book! Oh and don’t forget, the fire pit outside. This is one of my happy places! http://www.bookbardenver.com/

  69. Jennifer says:

    Savoy Bookshop and Cafe in Westerly, RI. Great atmosphere, great books, great people, and the treats and coffee at the cafe are wonderful! A must stop!

  70. Kandi says:

    I was recently in Aspen, CO, for Spring Break and fell in love with Explore Booksellers. The rest of my family was skiing and I spent A LOT of time there. Their inventory was my idea of perfect and talking to the staff felt like talking to friends I had known forever. I stayed so long one day that I started helping them find the perfect book for other customers and I was in heaven!

  71. Jennifer N. says:

    Quail Ridge Books is THE Indy bookstore in Raleigh, NC and they just moved to a new location and the store is so beautiful. This month the indy bookstores in cental NC have collaborated for a tour. There are special prizes for each number you visit during the month – there is even a Passport to have stamped at each store!

  72. Jill C says:

    Joseph Beth Booksellers in Lexington Ky. Beautiful huge bookstore my family has visited since I was a child. Once a month or so we’d drive two hours to Lexington and spend much time shopping and reading books.

    • Megan says:

      Joesph Beth was my first favorite independent book store. My parents lived in Lexington for 11 years and it was on my list to visit at least twice everytime I was in town!

  73. Brandy says:

    Malaprop’s in Asheville, NC is AMAZING! They are always hosting community and author events. I make sure to stop in every time I visit the area. Quail Ridge Books in Raleigh, NC is great too. Duck’s Cottage is an adorable store in Duck, NC (Outer Banks), and they have a great sister store in Manteo called Downtown Books.

  74. Amy says:

    The Ivy in Baltimore has a great British Mysteries section. My local is Northshire in Saratoga Springs, NY. Please have your next live event there;)

  75. Mary Ann Lee says:

    Even though I live in Macon, both of my children go to the University of Georgia. Every time I go to visit, I have to go to Avid Bookshop (2 locations) in Athens, Georgia. Love the recommendations from the people who work there!

    • Sara K. says:

      Amen! Avid Bookshop is amazing!!! We are blessed to live in the Athens area and I am certain my children are readers because of the staff there.

  76. Katrina says:

    Brookline Booksmith in Brookline, MA. (Just outside Boston.) They are smaller but have a wonderful collection! It feels like a second home. And they have a killer used book store downstairs.
    Trident Books on Newbury St in Boston. Also, Bearly Read Books in Sudbury, MA, for used books.

  77. Carol says:

    The Tattered Cover, Denver, CO…… I also loved going to Vromans in Pasadena, CA when I was a young girl and lived nearby.

  78. Elise says:

    Murder by the Book in Houston, TX
    Leelanau Books in Leland, MI
    McLean & Eakin Booksellers in Petoskey, MI
    Loganberry Books in Cleveland, OH

  79. Janet K says:

    A Bunch of Grapes in Vineyard Haven on Martha’s Vineyard has been a favorite for a long time. Since moving to CO. A Tattered Cover has also become a favorite.

  80. Amanda says:

    Our local in Nashville is Parnassus books and it’s amazing! Shop dogs, perfect book smell, floor to ceiling shelves with ladders and tons of great authors. The occasional Ann Patchett sightings aren’t too bad either 🙂

    • Mary Decker says:

      Just visited here yesterday! Loved it, bought a tshirt. There is a secret child’s door for the young reader’s section and I was greeted by a cute, friendly dog. I highly recommend it!

  81. chattynatty says:

    Prairie Lights, Iowa City, IA- Unesco City of Literature (hometown) and Tattered Cover Book, Denver, CO Happy Browsing! If you come to Iowa City please let me know.

  82. Liza says:

    The one I always visit is Blue Willow Bookshop in Houston, TX. It’s a 45 minute drive from my house but worth it. I don’t get there as often as I want to because of the drive, but I go when I can.

    My sister lives in Phoenix and took me to her store – Changing Hands. It’s a fabulous store.

  83. Ginger Macrander says:

    The Elliott Bay Book Company in Seattle’s Capitol Hill is my favorite (relatively) local bookstore. Just north of Seattle in Bellingham, Washington’s Fairhaven neighborhood is Village Books and Paper Dreams, another great indy. When I am back home in Homewood, Alabama, I make it a point to visit the Little Professor Book Center.

    • Katherine says:

      I second the Elliott Bay Book Company in Seattle and Village Books in Bellingham.

      Auntie’s Books in Spokane, WA
      Powell’s in Portland, OR
      Politics & Prose in Washington, DC
      Saturn Booksellers in Gaylord, MI

  84. Becca says:

    My favorite Independant Book store is Towne Center Books in Pleasanton, CA. It’s 6 blocks from my house and always carries a fantastic selection of books. They host events & book clubs, hire knowledgable employees and support our local community. Anne, you should come to California and visit!

  85. Katie says:

    In the Bay Area, CA:
    City Lights – San Francisco
    Kepler’s – Menlo
    Hicklebees – San Jose

    Powell’s – Portland
    Elliot Bay Book Co – Seattle
    Munro’s – Victoria, BC
    Shakespeare and Co – Paris
    My personal favorite – DAUNT BOOKS, the shop in Marlybone, London!!!

  86. Katie says:

    In the Bay Area, CA:
    City Lights – San Francisco
    Kepler’s – Menlo
    Hicklebees – San Jose

    Powell’s – Portland
    Elliot Bay Book Co – Seattle
    Munro’s – Victoria, BC
    Shakespeare and Co – Paris
    My personal favorite – DAUNT BOOKS, the shop in Marylebone, London!!!

  87. Caroline says:

    Eagle Harbor Book Co. on Bainbridge Island, WA is a fun little shop (I pictured this bookstore as I read The Storied Life of AJ Fikry!).

    Blue Manatee Books in Cincinnati is a great children’s bookstore.

  88. Paula says:

    Book People in Austin, TX. It’s the largest independent bookstore in Texas. It has wonderful story times, great author events, a cafe, and a wonderful selection of books.

  89. Christy says:

    Some smaller local favorites:
    RJ Julia Booksellers, Madison, CT
    McIntyre’s Books, Fearrington Village, Pittsboro, NC

    Both give employee reviews/favorite selections, which are super-helpful.

  90. Megan says:

    Late to the party, but I want to second Hooray for Books! in Alexandria, VA, and add Eagle Harbor Book Co. on Bainbridge Island, WA. Eagle Harbor Book Co. was my local bookstore during formative reading years in middle and high school, and I could not be more grateful for their knowledgeable and kind staff.

  91. Sarah says:

    Ed’s Bookshop in Bryan, TX – what every quaint small Texas town should have on their main street! http://www.edsbookshop.com/ My other small TX bookstore that I loved was in Ruby Lane Books in Post, TX – but I’ve heard it has shut its doors!

  92. Megan says:

    I have never read through all the comments on a blog post before! This was incredible. Visiting local bookstores is at the top of the list for my husband and I when we travel. I’m going to pin this post as a reference for future trips!
    I also recommend Bound Books in Franklin, TN. Small shop, but the owner selects just visually stunning books, and has great events!
    For those in PA, Hearts and Minds Bookstore in Dallastown is a gem. The owner Byron and his wife are excellent and have an incredibly diverse array of books. You can call the store and say you need a book on a certain topic and Bryon can list off 5 for you off the top of his head and send them to you next day. Excellent store!

  93. After Annie Jones was on WSIRN, I have become an avid listener to From the Front Porch podcast and following The Bookshelf Thomasville online. I haven’t visited yet but would love to.
    I am also excited to make Carmichael’s in Louisville my independent store in a little over a month!

    • Mary Jane McNeill says:

      We LOVE our Annie here in Thomasville!! And if anyone makes a trip here, make sure to look me up as a fellow MMD-ite!

  94. Janean says:

    Wild Rumpus Books in Linden Hills (Minneapolis), Minnesota. Named 2017 Publishers Weekly Bookstore of the Year! This whimsical, enchanted children’s bookstore is a must see! Chickens and cats roam the store and other interesting animals are in cages throughout the store. A carefully curated inventory of children’s books delight the eyes and are displayed thoughtfully. There’s a section for adults that houses classics, modern and literary fiction as well as parenting picks. The enchantment begins with the large door for the grown ups and the tiny purple door for the little tikes. http://m.startribune.com/wild-rumpus-named-bookstore-of-the-year-by-publishers-weekly/417998323/. http://www.wildrumpusbooks.com

  95. Flyleaf Books in Chapel Hill, NC. This book store does an amazing job of supporting readers and writers, and bringing the two together often. I am a writer (latest book – THE LIFE AND TIMES OF PERSIMMON WILSON – historical fiction – Atria Press) and have been teaching a free writing workshop at Flyleaf since it opened 8 years ago. The group has grown into quite a community (about 30 people attend each month) and we couldn’t have done it without Flyleaf Books. Come visit!

  96. Jennifer Dade says:

    Shakespeare and Co. in Paris…I bought Down and Out in London and Paris there:) Also Books to Be Red in Ocracoke NC. I always buy a book there to take to the beach when we visit every summer. They give out bookmarks and I like to hide them in random books at home. It’s such a fun surprise to open a book in the middle of winter and find my Books to Be Red bookmark. Takes me back to the beach!

  97. Odette says:

    I can’t imagine why you’d ever visit Jackson, Mississippi, but my favorite bookstore is Lemuria. Who wouldn’t want to go to the store where Eudora Welty was a regular?

  98. Tracey says:

    John K. King Used & Rare Books, Detroit, Michigan
    John K. King Used & Rare Books is a bookstore out of its time. The main store stock, as well as that of our branches in Ferndale and WSU, are completely uncomputerized collections that are organized by a team of energetic and helpful staff members into a multitude of topics and sub-topics. Each floor (4 floors in total) has a manager that is responsible for knowledge and maintenance of the categories held there. This means we can’t do computer searches and tell you if we have a title. However, we find this does create a unique book shopping experience that encourages getting lost in the aisles. They have over one million books in stock. Don’t worry, we’ll gently push you out at closing time.

  99. Aubrey says:

    My son and I love going to Hooray For Books! in Alexandria, VA. It began as an exclusively children’s bookstore, but when they expanded they added a small adult section. The focus, however, remains on children’s books (and fun educational kits), from infancy to YA. Every time I go there I get the sense that the adult book section is really to keep the parents occupied while the kids have a blast. They have a large middle grade section, which my son loves, and I always enjoy browsing their YA section (on our last trip, he picked up a signed copy of a Diary Of A Wimpy Kid book and I got The Hate U Give). One of the best things about the bookstore are their book clubs. They have groups and meetings for all ages of younger readers, and they’re the only bookstore I’ve found that hosts a monthly book club for adults reading YA novels. Hooray For Books! is such a treasure.

  100. Amanda says:

    My favorite indie bookstore is Pioneer Book in Provo, Utah. It’s a used bookstore for the most part, but it is exceptionally well organized. The staff are exactly what you want out of your bookseller, full of great recommendations, friendliness, and general nerdy interests. The store is situated on the old center street, which has turn-of-the century buildings and architecture. Giant two-story-tall books are painted on the outside of the store, which is delightful, and I love visiting at Christmas time when they have a 9-foot tree made entirely of green-bound books.

  101. Sarah Echols says:

    If you ever are in Monroe, GA, there is an excellent indie children’s bookstore called The Story Shop. Whimsical, imaginative with beautiful editions of classics. But most fantastic are the reading nooks, the hobbit house in the wall, the wardrobe wall that opens to the story room and the party room set up to welcome a Mad Hatter party. A most fantastic spot that will make you want to read your childhood favorites all over again!

  102. Kris says:

    The Poisoned Pen in Scottsdale, Arizona! Amazing shop with tons of signed books – everyone from James Patterson to Diana Gabaldon. They also have authors in to talk and sign books on a regular basis. I saw Ian Rankin in February, and it was the highlight of my trip.

  103. Sue says:

    I see Powell’s in Portland Oregon is being mentioned, and I can’t praise it enough! You can meet new friends who are browsing the same genres as you! Munro’s in Victoria BC is a great place to visit too.

  104. Paula says:

    There’s also Book Ends in Kailua, Hawaii. We just moved here, so I’m not as familiar with it but each time I’ve been in I have found something good for my daughter in the children’s section. Now I just need more time to explore the rest of the store. It’s small, but I love that it’s just down the road and they have filled it full.

  105. Amy says:

    You simply must go to An Unlikely Story in Plainville, Massachusetts! It’s an incredible independent shop run by Jeff Kinney of The Diary of a Wimpy Kid series. There’s a wonderful cafe to go along with the incredible selection of books. Upstairs is a community room with various events and then his offices are on the third floor. The first main floor has high open ceilings with flying books suspended from it and there are comfy leather chairs and benches, it’s wonderful.

  106. Elizabeth B. says:

    Elder’s Bookstore in Nashville is my closest favourite, it is antiquarian mostly. Not glamorous or artsy, but fabulous books.

  107. Tracy G says:

    So happy to see you’ve got Majors & Quinn on your list (if my eyes don’t fail me). I’ve lived in Minneapolis all my life but only first visited them last year. What was I waiting for?! It’s a great store. I’m not sure of the ages of your kids, but I’ve heard Wild Rumpus, also in Minneapolis, is an amazing place for young readers. They were just named Publishers Weekly’s 2017 Bookstore of the Year. Both stores are in really fun neighborhoods worth exploring. I hope you’re able to visit someday!

  108. Cindy May says:

    We have two here in central Ohio – Acorn Books and The Book Loft (known for having 32 rooms of books). Acorn Books is closer to me, so I occasionally drop in there. In addition to their books, I also like their rack of book-related greeting cards and others with really beautiful photographs on them.

  109. Stefanie says:

    I love that you make a list in your bullet journal. I have a similar list but for new local restaurants I want to try. I track on a Pinterest Board so that if I’m out I can check through the app on my phone on what might be in the area. I love the new Pinterest feature “Tried It” button so I can keep on the board, but mark as one I’ve tried already.
    Ditto on Wild Rumpus in Minneapolis. Time it with a Kate DiCamillo event! And check out Paperback Exchange also in Minneapolis for a great local used bookstore (across the street from the best pasta bar in town).

  110. Amanda says:

    The Last Bookstore in downtown L.A. Is a fun pilgrimage. It’s always showing up on Pinterest because it’s quirky book arches and stacks make for perfect photo ops. Not my favorite for shopping though due to the security check at the door (not cozy bookstore vibe). I prefer Vroman’s in Pasadena for leisurely book shopping.

  111. Phoebe says:

    I’ll add my vote to Powell’s in Portland, OR. When you’re done shopping, make sure to hit one of the food truck courts for lunch. And then go back to Powell’s.
    I’ve also encountered whole cities that do used and locally-owned bookstores well, including Charlottesville, VA (they’re all on the Downtown Mall – a pedestrian-only shopping area), Staunton, VA – we LOVE Barrister’s Books, western MA as a whole does great bookstores: think Amherst, Greenfield, Northampton. I would also highly recommend Barner Books in New Paltz, NY. While you’re there, just stay for life.
    Locally for me, a favorite is Chop Suey books in Richmond, VA who does used and new. Fountain Books is also in Richmond, and is well known, but I am ashamed to say I’ve never been there.
    Also, have you heard about the book village of Hobart in upstate NY? Definitely on the bucket list:

    • Anne says:

      Fountain Books is amazing. My sister has me in their “Fountain Fur” (Birthday/Christmas present) and I have yet to receive a book I didn’t love. And that includes ones outside my usual genres. I live in Charlottesville and we do have a ton of bookstores. I sometimes forget the rest of the world isn’t so book oriented. If you haven’t hit Daedulus, which is just off the Downtown Mall, you should. It’s a fire marshall’s nightmare and a book lovers dream – nooks and crannies galore.

  112. Nicole says:

    Politics and Prose in Washington, D.C. embodies the spirit of the city. Their events cover all ages and interests. The children section is full of surprises and the staff is so helpful! Down the street is the famous Comet Pizza.

    • Sarah Webb says:

      Hi Nicole! I’m going to D.C. next week, & would love some more indie bookstore recommendations if you have them! 🙂

      • Nicole says:

        Busboys and Poets has several locations with great live performances.
        Kramerbooks is in Dupont Circle so the vibe is young and alternative.
        Both serve food but skip it.

        • Bob Eckstein says:

          I was just about to recommend both–I just interviewed both owners last week and toured their very cool shops (my paintings of their stores appear at the end of the month in Publisher’s Weekly)

  113. Bob Eckstein says:

    Sorry, I can’t help it, be I have to add, that I just came from Politics & Prose–I actually painted it yesterday for a feature I’m doing on independent bookstores for independent Bookstore Day, April 29th in Publisher’s Weekly (Soapbox, back page).

    (and the previous comments mentioning Powell’s, Last Bookstore and others…well, I painted those stores, too, and share inside stories about them in my new book.) Sorry for the self-promotion (but my work is out there free in libraries and online everyone, anyway) but this is all my wheel–house and I spoke to all the owners and employees of all the wonderful stores for stories. The stores I haven’t been to in this comment thread, I will for my sequel.

    • Cecilia says:

      Oh wow, how extraordinary you took time to comment on this thread. I just pulled up your book and it looks fantastic and I will be adding to my owned books very soon! Can’t wait to read this one! 🙂

  114. Kacy Depenbrock says:

    The Country Bookshop in Southern Pines, NC is truly fabulous. It’s in a quaint downtown of a small southern town, and the staff are not only fun and helpful, but offer THE BEST suggestions on what to read next. A true gem.

  115. Kimberly says:

    I love Morgan Hill Bookstore in New London, NH. Staff is friendly and helpful. The store is small, but they will order anything that isn’t on their shelves–if you’re around for a few days and can wait. They also stock nice greeting cards and gift wrapping supplies and will wrap book purchases for free (donations to local food bank graciously accepted in jar on counter).

  116. Marilyn Bronson says:

    My personal favorite is McIntyre’s Books in charming Fearrington Village, Pittsboro, NC. Above and beyond the amazing book selections and awesome store workers, they have to notch speakers, such as, Louise Penny, Anthony Doerr, Jodi Picoult and Diane Rehm to name just a few! Awesome place!

  117. Lauren says:

    I received your book as a Christmas gift and I loved it! It was such a delight to read the stories behind so many truly interesting places. I look forward to the sequel! I only wish it was a bigger format, more coffee table size (maybe a compendium someday?)!

    • Bob Eckstein says:

      Hi Lauren! Thanks, great hearing that. And apologies to Michelle if I came off defensive. I was because I put a lot of time into this subject – so sorry for so aggressively sharing my involvement. Without the luxury for inflection I sounded worse than I meant.

      Lauren, I first wanted it to be a big book like you say but my publisher convinced me it would sell better and get into more hands the smaller it was. I wanted to make sure it was very affordable and did everything to lower the price…some new books I felt were too high at $30+ so that was also a big factor. A lower price meant a younger audience and that’s crucial to bookstores going forward.

      Thanks for replying.

  118. I love to do the same thing!! My most spectacular for me was going to Shakespeare and Company in Paris – We rented an apartment nearby and my daughter and I would walk to it! https://shakespeareandcompany.com/
    Since I’m originally from Texas, I have to say that I also love Book People in Austin. It is so eclectic!!
    My daughter lives in Chicago now so I’ll definitely take your recommendation and stop by Read It And Eat

  119. Kara says:

    Rainy Day Books in Fairway, KS (suburb of Kansas City) is wonderful. Small, cozy, and shop owners are like old friends. They bring in tons of authors for local events. Prospero’s Books in KC is another great indie – old space with tons of character and coziness, plus a huge freestanding stack of books.

  120. I definitely live 20 minutes from Browsers Bookshop in Olympia WA, but never knew it existed until you interviewed the owner on your podcast!! Since discovering them, we go there regularly and it is just the cutest; the perfect mix of vintage coziness and modern flair, and of course stuffed full of amazing finds both new and used! Bonus: they sell the actual best bookish accoutrements.

  121. Lori Ellen says:

    Square Books in Oxford, MS (the home town of Ole Miss/The University of MS). It is a two story bookstore set on the corner of Oxford’s historic town square. There is an upstairs wrap around porch, perfect for sipping a beautiful and delicious latte while you read. There is a big literary scene in Oxford because of the university and Faulkner’s history there. The best and brightest of Southern authors stream in and out of it’s doors. In an alternate location on the square is Square Books, Jr which is the children’s book store. If you are ever in MS or Memphis (which is only about 90 mi from Oxford) you HAVE to go there…email me and I’ll tell you where to eat there as well. 😉

  122. Karen says:

    Lemuria, in Jackson, MS. Heaven!
    Square Booksin Oxford, MS. Don’t miss Off the Square Books you can’t leave!
    Parnassus, in Nashville. Feel your mind expand
    Rizzoli’s, NYC. Ahhhh

  123. Diana says:

    Another vote for Wild Rumpus. This is the most perfect children’s book store I could conjure. The staff is knowledgeable and wonderful with recommendations, there are shop animals abound (cats, chickens, birds, a tarantula (in a closed case). There’s even a kid sized door (within the adult sized door). It’s the best.

  124. Barbara N says:

    In Bethlehem, the Moravian Bookshop. It’s also supposedly haunted. ooh.
    In Tempe, AZ. Changing Hands and Bookman’s.

  125. Janet says:

    Powells is the best! I have only physically been there one time but I use them on-line all the time to buy used books for my school library collection. When the budget is nearly non-existent, used books are a life and money saver!

    Also Tattered Cover in Denver.

  126. I love book stores too, especially independents. I also the Sundog books! Two of my faves are Browse About Books in Rehoboth Beach, DE and one on the square in Sonoma, CA. Unfortunately, the name escapes me at the moment.

  127. Stephanie says:

    If you make it out our way, my favorite of all time is Malaprop’s in Asheville, NC. Another favorite is McKay’s which has 3 locations – Knoxville, Nashville and Chattanooga, TN. McKay’s sells used and new books and also gives store credit if you want to trade in some old ones. They carry most titles and plan ahead as you can easily get lost in the stacks for hours!!

  128. Lori says:

    Like you, I too have a list of bookstores I have visited and want to visit. When I travel, bookstores are the first thing I scout out (even before lodging in most cases). If you come to Colorado, I recommend Tattered Cover in Denver (downtown location is my favorite) and The Boulder Bookstore in Boulder. I’m from Portland, so when missing Powells, I venture to one of these two stores to fill the void.

    • Sarah says:

      Powell’s is amazing. I live 30 minutes from it and come out at least $100 poorer every time I set foot inside. Also my other favorite indie bookstores are The Country Bookshelf in Bozeman, MT, Cannon Beach Books in Cannon Beach, OR and Waucoma Books in Hood River, OR. Though the last three do not have the inventory of Powell’s, they all display their books in such a way that I end up finding treasures every single time!

  129. Jennie says:

    A Room of One’s Own in Madison, WI. The Upstart Crow in San Diego, CA. The Bullshead Bookshop in Chapel Hill, NC.

    • Leira says:

      Yes! I was about to add A Room of One’s Own. I was just in Madison for a month and when I found that store I absolutely fell in love with it.

  130. Kellie Moy says:

    Cornerstone Used Books in Villa Park, IL. So many books, they let you browse as long as you want, and will look up any book! I always come away with treasures.

  131. Karen Allen says:

    Powell’s, of course. Allow a whole day to find all the nooks and crannies. Watch your step!
    Locally (since I may have grown up in Oregon, but now live in Tempe, AZ – the desert!) it would be Changing Hands (which conveniently opens up to a Wildflower Bread Company…) which stocks new and used books.
    The second would be Bookman’s – strictly used books and magazines and record albums.

    • Karen Allen says:

      (There are others, but these are local enough I’d frequent them. Someone can speak to any further north and west in the Phoenix area.)

  132. BVaeth says:

    I love Books, Lines and Thinkers – a tiny bookstore in western Rangeley, Maine (our vacation destination every year). They sell new and used books, as well as art by local artists. The owners have a table of books they recommend with sticky notes on each telling why. They also have a book club open to anyone.

  133. Sarah Katherine says:

    Page & Pallet was my hometown indie growing up and I still think it’s hard to beat! It’s in downtown Fairhope, AL which is such a charming destination in itself. Right on Monile Bay, tons of fun shops and restaurants, it is a haven for artists and writers! (Winston Groom lives here, Fanny Flagg spent lots of time here, etc.) Page & Pallet is small, but well curated with great staff picks, and a local section. They have fun bookish gifts and a coffee shop connected! They also now have a bar in the back for grown up author events! It’s really impressive who all they have come for such a small town. You’d love it!

  134. Amy C says:

    Malaprop’ Bookstore in Asheville, North Carolina is one of my favorites. Also Battery Park Book Exchange and Champagne Bar, also in Asheville, NC – has used books as well as a cafe and wine bar! When I used to live in Seattle, I loved Elliot Bay Bookstore, but it’s been so many years since I’ve been there.

  135. Alicia says:

    Adams Ave Books in San Diego (2 cats live there!)
    The Last Bookstore in Los Angeles
    Green Apple Books in San Francisco

  136. Linda says:

    Two that I love to visit–Vroman’s in Pasadena, California and The Poisoned Pen in Scottsdale, Arizona. Both are great stores with exceptional customer service. And both stores host wonderful and frequent author events. Thinking of them puts a smile in my heart.

  137. Margaret says:

    Mrs. Figg’s Bookworm in Camarillo, CA (just south of Ventura, 60 miles north of LA along the coast) is a beloved town treasure! It’s such a delight… super crowded shelves, bursting with books but with a lovely kids’ reading corner, and the nicest, most caring owner you will ever find (Ms. Connie). She bought the store from the original owner (who, at age 80-something, still comes in a couple days a week to volunteer) and she’s like Kathleen Kelley personified. <3 Connie reads to old folks in the community and she visited my dear Granny every Thursday morning for several years, to read to her, until her death. It was one of the highlights of Granny's week. Connie is a treasure and we make sure to stop in and buy books every time we visit my family in Camarillo from our home in Phoenix!

  138. Karen Floyd Shepherd says:

    I live in central New Hampshire, and my current favorites are Gibson’s Bookstore in Concord, The Country Bookseller in Wolfeboro, and Morgan Hill Books in New London. Gibson’s has been around for more than 50 years and I realize I’ve been going there that long. It was where I bought my first book with money I’d saved up myself (Little Women). They’ve moved several times, needing more and more room, and now have a spacious store, with a cafe, on South Main Street. The Country Bookseller also has a small cafe attached where you can get gelatto, hot drinks and delicious scones. I always get scones to bring home with me.

  139. Sheree says:

    What an amazing collection, in the post AND in the comments! I’m desperate to do a U.S. road trip now, to make my way into each and every one 🙂 If any of you ever make it to Sydney, Australia, I strongly recommend a few of my locals – Gleebooks (Glebe), Sappho Bookstore (literally right next door to Gleebooks in Glebe), and Gould’s (in Newtown). I haunt them regularly!

  140. Lisa Campbell says:

    My ultimate favorite is the Yankee Bookshop in Woodstock VT! Kari and Kristian, co-owners of the shop are wonderful folks. Very welcoming, knowledgeable and helpful! Great selection!

  141. Madeleine Farrell says:

    I have 3 favorite bookstores. Four but the last one I only visited once. When we were out in San Diego visiting our Marine son.
    First: Eight Cousins bookstore in Falmouth MA. We vacation at Cape Cod very often, and this is always a stop. We lose track of time.

    Second: The Strand in NYC. I don’t know if anyone already mentioned this. But its crazy good. Several floors that are confining and yet, amazingly, you are alone in a crowd as you peruse every shelf.

    Third: Bank Square Books Mystic, CT. We discovered this little gem on a spontaneous weekend away with the family to Mystic. Now, again, it’s a must anytime we travel to New England. Its small, but delightful.

    Only visited once: Bay Books in Coronado, CA. The moment we walked in, the staff made us feel like friends. So helpful and accommodating. I figure part of it is because its a tourist area, but it feels like you are home regardless.

  142. LOUISE HUFNAGEL says:

    Forever Books in St. Joseph, MI.

    A small town bookshop like none other I have been to.
    The owner has a love of books and the community she serves.

  143. Denise Koeppelle Godinez says:

    Two of my favorite independent bookstores in Buffalo, NY are Talking Leaves on Elmwood Ave. and Bidwell Pkwy, in the Elmwood Village and Alice, Ever After, a delightful store on Parkside Ave. across from the Buffalo Zoo entrance. Talking leaves has been around for more than 50 years, has a diverse, wide variety of books including a great children’s section.
    Alice, Ever After is a small but bright and inviting store owned by a young, former teacher who is extremely knowledgeable about children’s books. It and also has a very diverse wide selection.

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