Independent bookstores play a vital role in the culture of the United States as they connect authors with their audiences. Book lovers also get to discover new books, thanks to them. From promoting literacy to helping the poor children bring their books, these independent bookstores happen to be the cultural hubs. Though readers can also be read online these days, the indie bookshops have their value, and nothing has been able to bring down their popularity. However, many indie bookstores have already started hosting events and delivering books online during the pandemic. Below are some of the super-cool indie bookstores across the U.S. that can inspire you to dive into the books they offer in the future. Have a look.
People Get Ready
The book space in New Haven, Connecticut, is not only an independent bookstore but a community reading room as well. Even if you aren’t ready or able to buy books, you are always welcomed in the community. People Get Ready is known to work with schools and teachers and works towards the diversification of critical curriculum development, classroom libraries, and so on.
The book space emphasizes books that offer the essence of the local community. It also features the authors from different groups that haven’t been adequately represented in the world of book publishing. You can get access to the work of bilingual authors, LGBTQIA authors, BIPOC authors, etc. The store’s neighbors can easily walk in and find themselves in the books and the stories they will come across.
The Haunted Book Shop
Mobile, Alabama, boasts of this independent bookstore known for its character. The Haunted Book Shop prioritizes genre fiction as well as books on writing. There is a Writer’s Room in the shop where local authors can come and write in a calm and accommodating environment. However, other writers may find the shop a haven.
They also get easy access to reference books. Even the fiction genre is hyper-categorized in this bookstore so that you can easily pick up what you want. Aside from books, you can also have a great time with the friendly resident cat named Mr.Bingley. It will greet you at the door. You're mistaken if you think you will find spooky spirits here. The name of this shop is derived from the novel The Haunted Book Shop penned by Christopher Morley.
Bart’s Books in Ojai, California, is unique compared to every other book store in the United States. The stunning 1930s cottage has its bookshelves expanding onto the grounds surrounding the shop. The outdoor shelves are almost identical to the Parisian booksellers along River Seine. As the books outside are neatly arranged in shaded stalls, you can go through them irrespective of the weather.
The setting of Bart’s Books is quite naturalistic. The love of nature and books is bound to attract book lovers to the most prominent outdoor bookstores in the world. Once you reach Bart’s Books, you can browse through a vast ensemble of books. The collection comprises more than 1,30,000 new and old and used books. There are out-of-print volumes and paperback novels as well. You should visit the place if you want to read books in an environment that connects you with nature.
Women & Children First
This bookstore was founded in 1979. It is hailed as one of the first feminist bookshops. It has showcased personalities like Hillary Clinton, Margaret Atwood, Gloria Steinem, and Maya Angelou, among others. Women & Children First in Chicago regularly hosts events with renowned authors.
As you can understand from the name, the bookstore is run with a social justice mission. Women & Children First emphasizes voices that haven’t been adequately represented in society, such as feminist, BIPOC, queer, and trans authors. After visiting Women & Children First, you can browse through categories that you may not find in other bookstores, independent or otherwise. Take Young Adult Queer, for example.
Many other indie bookstores are worth a visit, including Bookwoman in Austin, Texas, Little Shop of Stories in Decatur, Georgia, and Faulkner House Books in New Orleans, Louisiana.