Bookstore Bucket List: Northeastern Edition

Local bookstores are everywhere, but in today’s day in age with Amazon’s empire, it’s hard for them to stay in business. While some stores have an online presence, for consumers, nothing compares to the speed and convenience of online shopping and free 2-day shipping. However, the locals are the ones who care most about you, which is why, while you are going home or visiting family around the United States, you should take a few minutes to pop in and buy a book at one of these local treasures. 

In this article, you will find bookstores located in the Northeast! 

Looking for a different region? Find them here: 

South

West

Mid-West

Maine

The Briar Patch, Bangor

This Children’s specialty bookstore is the perfect place to find children’s books that range from birth to high school age. The store also carries books on parenting and for parents alongside games, toys, and the like! They have been located in Bangor for the past 30 years.

Devaney, Doak and Garrett Booksellers, Farmington

This bookstore hopes to enrich their community through education outreach, community events, and everyday discounts. They have been open since 1991, and they specialize in Maine and children’s books.

Letterpress Books, Portland

Open seven days a week, Letterpress Books is dedicated to selling new and used books alike. In addition to their books, they host many author events and story times, and they even have a senior discount day on Tuesdays! 

Massachusetts

Brookline Booksmith, Brookline

Brookline Booksmith is one of my all-time favorite bookstores, and it is located right in the city of Boston! This cozy store feels like home and they have a wide variety of titles including a large children’s section and a used book cellar. Definitely a must see on any Bookstore Bucket List. 

Trident Booksellers and Cafe, Boston

Another one of my favorite bookstores, Trident has a lot of super cool events going on all the time. They also have a full cafe inside the store that sells amazing food. Next time you are walking down Newbury Street, be sure to stop in and pay them a visit. 

Harvard Bookstore, Cambridge

Open since 1932 and one of the most famous independent bookstores, and a super fun place to visit. This store is huge, and they have a book selection to match. You can even send a manuscript over to their printer and have it bound at their on demand printer! 

Storybook Cove, Hanover

Is a great place to find all things young adult and children’s. The store has also recently started stocking adult titles as well. They also have toys and games to go alongside all the books that they sell, so stop in and explore! 

New Hampshire

Gibson’s Bookstore, Concord

Having opened its doors in 1898, Gibson’s is a New England staple. Along with their continuous service, Gibson’s also offers a wide variety of titles and amenities that you typically only find in a chain bookstore. 

The Book Cellar, Nashua

This bookstore has a large catalog on new and used books, and if they don’t have it in their store, they are happy to track it down for you, even if it is a hard-to-find or out-of-print title. They sell textbooks on their website, and will buy your used textbooks on the spot if you bring them in! 

Book and Bar, Portsmouth

After deciding to combine their passions, the owners of Book and Bar created a quirky and unique spot to by books and enjoy a nice glass of beer. While you are here, you can also enjoy a meal!

New Jersey

Paranormal Books & Curiosities, Asbury Park

Paranormal Books and Curiosities specializes in the paranormal, and they have the largest selection of paranormal books that you’ll find in any brick and mortar store. This store has a wide variety of titles, and some exclusive magazines.

Little City Books, Hoboken

This bookstore is a general interest indie, so they have a wide variety of books in an array of topics. You are bound to find something you want to read in their collection. They also hold a lot of events to bring writers together and authors to their audiences. 

The Cloak and Dagger, Princeton

This bookshop caters to mystery lovers, so if you love Mysteries, you should hurry on over to this store. They mostly carry paperbacks and these books span all kinds of mysteries. The store is even modeled after a home you would see in an Agatha Christie mystery. 

New York 

Flights of Fantasy, Albany

This fantastical land of make believe is a great place to find the latest in science fiction and fantasy. Their whimsical nature is complete with the edition of their store cat, Bob Too! The store prides itself on creating a safe space for cats with special needs, and giving them a place to call home. 

The Strand, New York City

This legendary location is one of a book lover’s dreams. The Strand has 18 miles––yup, miles!––of books for you to browse and enjoy. If you’re not sure, that is equivalent to about 2.5 million titles...which for an independent bookstore is not too shabby. The store has been around for 90 years and counting, so make sure to spend the day the next time you are in New York City. 

Cafe Con Libros, Brooklyn

The aim of theis bookstore is to create a space of readers and thinkers can come to discuss literature. They are a hardcore feminist bookshop and are proud to be a safe space for floks who need one. 

The Friends’ Bookstore, Poughkeepsie

If you are looking for a steal, look no further. The used books at this bookstore are almost ALL under $2.00––talk about amazing. Make sure they you take some time to check out their 20,000 titles, and the good news is, is that you can keep coming back, since their stock is ever-changing!

Pennsylvania

Pressed Books, Erie

At this bookstore, they value the process of discovery. While here, make the most of your experience by enjoying a cup of coffee and pawing through the titles at a leisurely pace. They want you to take a moment and enjoy the journey to discovering your next great read in a tactile, physical way that you won’t find anywhere else.

For The Historian, Gettysburg

This bookstore specializes in military history, which makes sense since it is located in arguably one of the most historical military sites on U.S. soil. If you know someone who loves history, especially U.S. military history, this is the perfect place to bring them to watch their face light up as they discover all the books that For The Historian has to offer. 

Firefly Bookstore, Kutztown

Selling both new and used books, this bookstore has over 65,000 titles in stock. The possibilities here are endless with books in every category, as well as board games, toys, and other trinkets for you to purchase and enjoy.  

Bindlestiff Books, Philadelphia

This store is a volunteer run establishment that sells new titles, some of which are discounted! They have a wide selection of books that span different forms and genres, so you are sure to find something that interests you.

City Books, Pittsburgh

Established in 1987, this store is Pittsburgh’s oldest used books store. They pride themselves on their customer service ties together with their old-world charm. This store has a wide array of titles, so be sure to check it out!  You never know what you may find tucked into the shelves! 

Rhode Island

Barrington Books Retold, Cranston (My hometown!!)

Barrington Books Retold is a bookstore with a wide variety of titles and two locations. This store prides itself on having an abundance of indie bookseller flare and the best selection of books around. Next time you’re in Rhode Island, make sure to stop in and pay them a visit! 

Spring Street Books, Newport

Spring Street Books does it all from out-of-print to new bestsellers. If you can’t find a book, they will happily help you find it to ensure that you are getting the books you are looking for and want to read. 

Cellar Stories Bookstore, Providence

The largest used and rare book bookstore in the smallest state, Cellar Stories Bookstore is a place to see. They have been buying and selling books in the city of Providence for the last thirty years, and they have about 70,000 titles available to browse and buy. 

Twenty Stories, Providence

This unique bookstore is run out of Providence, and only carries 20 titles every month, but that’s because this bookstore is actually a remodeled 1987 van. In the warmer months, the bookmobile will pop up in different places around the city, and in the winter (and year round), all the books can be found in their physical store. Each of the titles found here comes highly recommended by the two owners, who personally select all twenty titles every month. 

Vermont

Bennington Bookshop, Bennington

Bennington Bookshop features a wide variety of new titles, especially those listed in the New England Independent Bookseller Association’s bestseller list. They are especially proud of their extensive children’s section, and are looking into starting weekly readings for local children. 

Phoenix Books, Burlington

This bookstore makes it its mission to source eco-friendly products from local vendors, and keep an environmentally friendly atmosphere. They take social responsibility seriously, and hope to find you your next great read along the way.

Bear Pond Books, Stowe

This bookstore opened in 1970 and are open every day of the week. They love for community members to come to their events, and browse their selection of books. They specialize particularly in regional titles, children's books, and titles in popular subjects.

While this list of books is pretty extensive, this list doesn’t even begin to cover the local bookstores found in these cities, states, or around the country. Please take the time to support your local bookstore, because they may not be there much longer if you don’t. Most of the bookstores (if not already common knowledge) in this article were located through NewPages’ Guide to Independent Bookstores. For more information about bookstores closer to you and not highlighted here, please feel free to reference Newpages’ website.