Saturday, April 24th is National Independent Bookstore Day. This year, more than ever, all of our local businesses need our support. I’ve included a highly idiosyncratic personal list of nine of my favorite bookstores around the country. There’s no way to list them all, however, I’ve visited each of these, appeared as an author in most and wish them years of continued success.
If you don’t have a local bookstore, adopt one elsewhere. Let’s make 2021 the year of the book!
Joseph-Beth Booksellers in Lexington, KY and Cincinnati, OH
My longtime “local” when I lived in Lexington. I was there for the opening and the expansions over the decades. While I no longer live in Kentucky, they are a planned stop on long road trips. Beyond the events, they also host school groups for tours, where they can learn about the importance of small business in the community, and learn how books show up on shelves!
FoxTale Book Shoppe, Woodstock, GA
Charming! Additionally, they have a full line up of Events, and Classes in addition to their popular book clubs. Follow the FoxTale Blog if you want to stay up to the minute.
Raven Book Store in Lawrence, KS
If you are in town, what a great place to select a new book. By mail, they have a curated surprise ‘stack o’ books’ in their Mystery Fun Box. Online, right now they are featuring a Black Power Reading List, perfect for selecting your spring reads. And, perfect for National Independent Bookstore day: How to Resist Amazon and Why, the book.
McNally Jackson with two locations in New York City.
Right now: Encouraging 100 Years of Black American Literature, and signed copies of Michelle Zauner’s upcoming memoir Crying in H Mart. They have a dynamic Virtual Event series featuring a broad range of authors. What a gorgeous store!
Murder by the Book, Houston, TX
“Where a good crime is had by all!” Their tag line sums it up. A great store, with great book sellers. Adding to their strong Events calendar, they are launching Murder by the Box, a subscription box tailored to the individual: Best of the Month OR Crime Fiction Legends OR Cozy Corner. (Maybe pick all three!)
Book No Further, Roanoke, VA
They are relatively new to the book world, opening in 2017, near the town where I currently live. A welcoming place for authors, they are a splendid addition to our community. Currently they have a special line up of events for Independent Bookstore Day and are looking toward Children’s BookWeek in May.
Union Avenue Books, Knoxville, TN
Here, you will be welcomed with open arms. Their Book Concierge is designed to help find your next favorite book. In addition to book clubs and events, they feature an online book discussion with a University of Tennessee faculty member. May 2021 will feature Tightrope: Americans Reaching for Hope by Nicholas Kristof, hosted by R. E. Toledo, Distinguished Lecturer of Spanish.
Wordsworth & Co., Little Rock, AR
Such a welcoming place! Currently they are welcoming Spring with a selection of Gardening books, also currently featured are their Book Club Selections including, Interior Chinatown, by Charles Yu.
The Poisoned Pen, Scottsdale, AZ
Weekly book chat, and often daily Virtual Events. Perfect for a daily book fix. Their current hot book of the week: When the Stars Go Dark by Paula McLain, author of The Paris Wife. This store is iconic!