The Best Independent Bookstores in All 50 States

The Best Independent Bookstores in All 50 States

In a world dominated by digital screens and e-books, there's something undeniably magical about wandering the aisles of an independent bookstore. Each one is a haven for book lovers, a unique space where stories come to life, and communities gather to celebrate the written word. From the cozy nooks of New England to the expansive book emporiums of California, the United States boasts an array of bookstores that cater to every reader's whims. Let's embark on a journey to explore the best bookstores in all 50 states.

Alabama: Brown Books & More - Birmingham

Brown Books & More in Birmingham, Alabama, is a literary gem known for its diverse selection and community engagement. This bookstore is a hub for book lovers in the heart of Alabama, offering a wide range of titles to suit various interests and tastes.

Alaska: The Writer's Block Bookstore & Cafe - Anchorage

The Writer's Block Bookstore & Cafe in Anchorage, Alaska, is a unique blend of a bookstore and a coffee shop, making it a perfect place for book enthusiasts to enjoy a good read with a warm beverage. The store's commitment to literary culture and its broad selection of titles make it a beloved spot for Alaskan readers.

Arizona: Changing Hands Bookstore - Tempe

Changing Hands Bookstore in Tempe, Arizona, stands out for its vibrant atmosphere and its role as a community hub. With an impressive selection of books, a packed events calendar, and a commitment to local authors, it's a literary oasis in the desert.

Arkansas: Dickson Street Bookshop - Fayetteville

Arkansas' literary scene is incomplete without mentioning Dickson Street Bookshop in Fayetteville. This charming used bookstore is a local favorite, known for its diverse selection and welcoming ambiance.

California: The Last Bookstore - Los Angeles

The Last Bookstore in Los Angeles is an iconic destination for book lovers. Housed in a historic bank building, it features a stunning book labyrinth and a curated selection of new and used books. It's not just a bookstore; it's an artistic experience.

Colorado: Tattered Cover Book Store - Denver

Tattered Cover Book Store in Denver, Colorado, is a legendary independent bookstore. With its cozy reading corners and a robust event schedule, it's a place where the local community comes together to celebrate literature.

Connecticut: R.J. Julia Booksellers - Madison

R.J. Julia Booksellers in Madison, Connecticut, is a testament to the enduring love of books. It's known for its strong support of local authors and a warm, welcoming ambiance that invites readers to stay a while.


Connecticut: People Get Ready - New Haven

People Get Ready in New Haven, Connecticut, is a Black-owned and woman-owned bookstore dedicated to African-American literature and culture. It's a welcoming space for exploring the rich tapestry of Black voices.

Delaware: Mejah Books - Wilmington

Mejah Books in Wilmington, Delaware, is a literary haven known for its welcoming atmosphere and a curated selection of books that cater to a diverse range of readers. It's a cherished bookstore for the local community and a place where stories come to life.

Florida: Books & Books - Coral Gables

Books & Books in Coral Gables, Florida, is a renowned independent bookstore with a long-standing commitment to fostering the love of reading. Known for its personalized recommendations and author events, it's a must-visit for Florida book enthusiasts.

Georgia: Medu Bookstore - Atlanta

Medu Bookstore in Atlanta, Georgia, is a Black-owned bookstore with a rich history of supporting African-American literature and the community. It's a place where readers can discover the profound impact of Black voices.

Hawaii: Talk Story Bookstore - Hanapepe

On the Hawaiian island of Kauai, Talk Story Bookstore in Hanapepe is a unique gem. Run by a couple dedicated to the written word, this store offers an array of new and used books, local art, and a serene garden for browsing.

Idaho: Rediscovered Bookshop - Boise

Rediscovered Bookshop in Boise, Idaho, is a welcoming space that celebrates the power of stories. The store's mission is to connect readers with books they'll love, and it regularly hosts author events and book clubs.

Illinois: The Seminary Co-op Bookstore - Chicago

Located in the heart of Chicago, The Seminary Co-op Bookstore is a true book lover's paradise. As one of the nation's most renowned academic bookstores, it's a haven for scholars, intellectuals, and curious readers.

Indiana: Indy Reads Books - Indianapolis

Indy Reads Books in Indianapolis, Indiana, has a dual mission: to provide affordable books to the community and support literacy programs. It's a store with a heart, making it a unique and important part of Indiana's literary landscape.

Iowa: Prairie Lights - Iowa City

Prairie Lights in Iowa City is a prestigious independent bookstore with a rich history of supporting both established and emerging writers. The welcoming atmosphere and well-curated selection have made it an essential destination for bookworms in Iowa.

Kansas: Rainy Day Books - Fairway

Rainy Day Books in Fairway, Kansas, is a beloved independent bookstore known for its author events and personalized recommendations. It's a store that takes pride in making sure each customer finds the perfect book.

Kentucky: Wild Fig Books - Lexington

Wild Fig Books in Lexington, Kentucky, is a cozy bookstore specializing in multicultural literature. It's a space dedicated to promoting diverse voices and fostering a sense of community.

Louisiana: Faulkner House Books - New Orleans

New Orleans' Faulkner House Books is a literary gem situated in William Faulkner's former residence. The store is steeped in history, offering rare and classic works as well as contemporary literature in a charming setting.

Maine: Sherman's Books & Stationery - Bar Harbor

Sherman's Books & Stationery in Bar Harbor, Maine, is a charming bookstore offering a wide array of titles for visitors exploring the picturesque landscapes of the state. It's a must-visit for travelers seeking a good read during their Maine adventures.

Maryland: The Ivy Bookshop - Baltimore

The Ivy Bookshop in Baltimore, Maryland, is a community-focused bookstore known for its commitment to fostering local literary culture. They host numerous author events, book clubs, and children's programs.

Massachusetts: Frugal Bookstore - Roxbury

Frugal Bookstore in Roxbury, Massachusetts, is a beacon of literary culture in the heart of Boston. As a Black-owned bookstore, it proudly features books by authors from diverse backgrounds and is a symbol of representation in the literary world.

Michigan: Literati Bookstore - Ann Arbor

Literati Bookstore in Ann Arbor, Michigan, is an independent bookstore that has earned a special place in the hearts of local residents. Known for its welcoming atmosphere, author signings, and a well-curated selection, it's a must-visit.

Minnesota: Moon Palace Books - Minneapolis

Moon Palace Books in Minneapolis, Minnesota, is a dynamic independent bookstore with a strong community focus. As a woman-owned bookstore, it prides itself on inclusivity and offers a diverse range of titles.

Mississippi: Square Books - Oxford

Square Books in Oxford, Mississippi, is a beloved independent bookstore with a rich history of supporting Southern literature. It's a welcoming space for readers to explore both classic and contemporary works.

Missouri: Left Bank Books - St. Louis

Left Bank Books in St. Louis, Missouri, is a cherished independent bookstore known for its commitment to social and political activism. It's a hub for discussions, author events, and a carefully selected book collection.

Montana: Fact & Fiction - Missoula

Fact & Fiction in Missoula, Montana, is a thriving independent bookstore offering a diverse range of books for all tastes. With a commitment to serving the local community, it's a literary beacon in Big Sky Country.

Nebraska: Francie & Finch Bookshop - Lincoln

Francie & Finch Bookshop in Lincoln, Nebraska, is a woman-owned bookstore that celebrates the power of storytelling. They host numerous events and book clubs, fostering a love of literature in their community.

Nevada: Sundance Books and Music - Reno

Sundance Books and Music in Reno, Nevada, is a cherished independent bookstore that hosts literary events, book clubs, and live music performances. It's a cultural hub for the state's northern region.

New Hampshire: Gibson's Bookstore - Concord

Gibson's Bookstore in Concord, New Hampshire, is a delightful independent bookstore that emphasizes community involvement. They are known for their author events and reading programs for all ages.

New Jersey: Word Bookstore - Jersey City

Word Bookstore in Jersey City, New Jersey, is a woman-owned independent bookstore with a cozy atmosphere and a selection that caters to various interests. It's a true gem in the Garden State.

New Mexico: Collected Works Bookstore - Santa Fe

Collected Works Bookstore in Santa Fe, New Mexico, is a cherished independent bookstore with a deep commitment to supporting local authors and the community's literary needs.

New York: The Strand - New York City

The Strand in New York City is an iconic destination for book lovers worldwide. It's a treasure trove with "18 miles of books" and a rich history of supporting the literary arts.

North Carolina: The Regulator Bookshop - Durham

The Regulator Bookshop in Durham, North Carolina, is a beloved independent bookstore known for its commitment to social justice and community engagement. It's a hub for discussions and literary events.

North Dakota: Zandbroz Variety - Fargo

Zandbroz Variety in Fargo, North Dakota, is a unique store that combines books, gifts, and more. It's a cozy haven for book lovers in the northern plains, offering a charming selection of reads.

Ohio: The Book Loft of German Village - Columbus

The Book Loft of German Village in Columbus, Ohio, is a book lover's paradise with 32 rooms of books to explore. It's a unique and immersive experience for readers of all genres.

Oklahoma: Full Circle Bookstore - Oklahoma City

Full Circle Bookstore in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, is an independent bookstore with a rich history of serving its community. With a diverse selection and a welcoming atmosphere, it's a literary gem.

Oregon: Powell's City of Books - Portland

Powell's City of Books in Portland, Oregon, is the world's largest independent bookstore, and it's a literary destination in its own right. Visitors can easily spend hours exploring its color-coded rooms filled with books.

Pennsylvania: Harriett's Bookshop - Philadelphia

Harriett's Bookshop in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, is a Black-owned bookstore that celebrates the voices of women, the LGBTQ+ community, and people of color. It's a place where art, culture, and literature converge.

Rhode Island: Books on the Square - Providence

Books on the Square in Providence, Rhode Island, is a beloved independent bookstore that offers a handpicked selection of books for all ages and interests. It's a charming corner for readers in the smallest state.

South Carolina: Hub City Bookshop - Spartanburg

Hub City Bookshop in Spartanburg, South Carolina, is a renowned independent bookstore with a strong commitment to regional literature and emerging authors. It's a hub for artistic and literary events in the Palmetto State.

South Dakota: Mitzi's Books - Rapid City

Mitzi's Books in Rapid City, South Dakota, is a delightful bookstore with a focus on curating a diverse selection of literature. It's a cozy spot to discover your next favorite read.

Tennessee: Parnassus Books - Nashville

Parnassus Books in Nashville, Tennessee, is a celebrated independent bookstore co-owned by author Ann Patchett. Known for its personal recommendations and author events, it's a must-visit for Tennessee book enthusiasts.

Texas: The Dock Bookshop - Fort Worth

The Dock Bookshop in Fort Worth, Texas, is a Black-owned bookstore that's deeply embedded in the community. It offers a wide selection of books, hosts events, and fosters a sense of unity among readers.

Utah: King's English Bookshop - Salt Lake City

King's English Bookshop in Salt Lake City, Utah, is an independent bookstore that has been a beloved fixture for over 40 years. With a welcoming environment and a strong connection to local authors, it's a literary oasis.

Vermont: Bear Pond Books - Montpelier

Bear Pond Books in Montpelier, Vermont, is a cozy independent bookstore with a friendly staff and an inviting ambiance. It's a place where the love of books is celebrated.

Virginia: One More Page Books - Arlington

One More Page Books in Arlington, Virginia, is a woman-owned bookstore known for its passionate staff and diverse selection. They host frequent author events, making it a hub for literary discussions.

Washington: Elliott Bay Book Company - Seattle

Elliott Bay Book Company in Seattle, Washington, is a cherished independent bookstore offering a vast selection and a warm, inviting atmosphere. It's an integral part of the Pacific Northwest's literary scene.

West Virginia: Taylor Books - Charleston

Taylor Books in Charleston, West Virginia, is an independent bookstore that combines books, art, and a cafe to create a cultural hub. It's a place where art and literature coexist beautifully.

Wisconsin: A Room of One's Own - Madison

A Room of One's Own in Madison, Wisconsin, is a woman-owned bookstore that emphasizes inclusivity and promoting marginalized voices. It's a welcoming space for all readers.

Wyoming: The Second Story - Laramie

The Second Story in Laramie, Wyoming, is a delightful bookstore known for its selection of new and used books. It's a gathering place for bookworms in the Cowboy State.


These independent bookshops, are more than just places to buy books; they are cultural anchors that foster connections between readers and authors. They embody the essence of storytelling and the power of the written word. We encourage you to visit these bookstores, support local businesses, and explore the wealth of literary treasures they offer. They are the heart and soul of our literary landscape, ready to guide you on your next literary adventure.

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