If you are a self-proclaimed bibliophile, then this list might be of interest to you. We scoured both big and small cities in America to find the best independent bookstores. You are guaranteed to find more than just a good book at any one of these locations. Many of them have quaint café’s and offer poetry readings, live music, and special events to accompany their awesome inventory.
1. The Strand Bookstore: New York City
If you are a frequent traveler to NYC and a book lover, you are probably already aware of this fabulous spot in the East Village. Open in 1927, the store promotes itself as having “18 miles of books” to be explored and discovered. The towering stacks of new, used, and rare books—as well as all of the people browsing them– are a sure sign that there are still people in the world who prefer the crack of a spine to the click of a touchpad when reading.
2. Powell’s Bookstore: Portland, Oregon
The headquarters of this chain of bookstores in and around Portland claims to be the largest independent new and used bookstore in the world. Located in the Pearl District in the downtown area, the store occupies an entire city block. It is home to more than 68,000 square feet of retail floor space and holds an inventory of more than four million new, used, rare and out-of-print books. It is quite easy to get lost in the store for an entire day while you wander the stacks to discover hidden and buried treasures.
3. Boulder Bookstore: Boulder, Colorado
This bookstore is the perfect representation of the unique spirit of Boulder. The inventory lists over 100,000 titles that include bestsellers and general interest, fiction, religion, lifestyle, business, and specialty cookbooks. There is a section on Buddhism and spirituality that can be found not far from Vegan and Vegetarian specialty books. It is easy for both the locals and tourists to get lost in the three-story maze of rooms. Housed in a 19th-century structure on the brick-paved, pedestrian-only Pearl Street Mall, this shop is located close to coffee shops and other fun boutiques that offer an awesome afternoon shopping experience.