Bookstore Bucket List: Southern 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 South! Looking for a different region? Find them here: 

Northeast

West

Mid-West

Alabama

The Alabama Booksmith, Birmingham

This local find is unique, since every book in their store is signed! If you already have signed copies of your favorite book and are looking to brighten someone else’s day, don’t worry. They will send out your purchases as gifts to the people you love, carefully gift-wrapped with a card. 

Page and Palette, Fairhope

This bookstore has been making readers’ days since 1968, so if you haven't stopped in, you definitely should. The store is complete with a used book cellar and a cafe to satisfy all the needs you might have been looking for in a bookstore.

The Haunted Bookshop, Mobile

The Haunted Bookshop was originally open from 1941 to 1991 when they were forced to close their doors. Re-opened in 2018 by the granddaughter of the original owners, the bookshop was named for her grandparent’s favorite book, “The Haunted Book Shop,” by Christopher Morley. It is said that the shop is “haunted by the ghosts of all great literature,” which is also a quote from Morley’s book. 

The Book Inn, Fairhope

Fairhope is home to some pretty cool bookstores, so I needed to include the Book Inn. This one in particular has been around since 1979. The Book Inn is particularly unique in that they sell their books at 40 percent off the cover price.

Read Herring, Montgomery

If you find yourself in or around Montgomery, you have to stop in to Read Herring. The bookstore is the only independent bookstore in the city, and they LOVE customer orders. Many of the orders can be fulfilled in two to three days or faster if it is needed. They stock a wide variety of fiction books, along with some books in specially curated topics.

Ernest & Hadley Booksellers, Tuscaloosa 

This bookstore strives to provide a place where authors can hold signings, book clubs can meet, and anyone can feel comfortable. They value the input from the community, and they do their best to stock books that their community will love. They hold a stock of new, used, and rare books for shoppers to browse. 

Arkansas

The Paper Chase Bookstore, Batesville

Opened during the 1970s, The Paper Chase Bookstore started as a used bookstore. A few years ago, the bookstore expanded and is now home to 80,000 titles between new and used books. You can also complete custom orders or buy books from the store online!

The Book Worm, Little Rock

The Book Worm is Little Rock’s only used bookstore. This store is dedicated to helping some worn books find new homes so stop in and check it out if you are looking to find a new book to read. 

The Bookstore at Library Square, Little Rock

Part of the local library system, this bookstore offers a unique approach to book buying. Here you can browse an array of books. This store is three stories of donated books, and they even have a cafe (Bookends). The store also has a staff art gallery.

It’s a Mystery Bookstore, Berryville

This store specializes in new to gently worn books and is a great place to go to find a new book to read. The store has over 20,000 titles from over 2,000 different authors. The store is complete with that classic “old book” smell and furniture to match. 

WordsWorth Books, Little Rock

This bookstore is a Little Rock staple, serving the community in Central Arkansas for over 30 years. This store specializes in new books, so there are always author signings and events happening! 

Delaware

Bethany Beach Books, Bethany Beach

This bookstore in Bethany Beach has been operating since 1991, and they are the only independent bookstore located in the city. Bethany Books is also the creator of “The Book Drop,” which is a monthly book subscription box service launched in 2015. If you want to stop by, they are located just a few steps off the boardwalk. 

MeJah Books, Claymont

This bookstore was opened in 1998 and has a diverse list of titles. The store has access to over 1 million titles from a variety of sources, so if you can’t find the book you are looking for, and they can’t order it, it probably doesn’t exist.  They are extremely dedicated to their community, and love working with their community to host events for everyone to enjoy. 

Browseabout Books, Rehoboth Beach

Browseabout Books is open 363 days a year and proudly supports their local community. The store has become one of the top independent bookstores in the nation, and rightfully so! They have been working hard since 1975 when they first opened, so make sure to stop in and pay them a visit. 

Florida

Abraxas Books, Daytona Beach

Located in Daytona Beach, this bookstore focuses on used and antiquarian books.  Pay them a visit, and you might just run into their resident book expert Sterling.

Murder on the Beach Mystery Bookstore, Delray Beach

This bookstore is all about...well, mysteries. They also specialize in thrillers and suspense, in case that wasn’t obvious.  If you are looking to spice up your trip, this is definitely a place that you need to stop in order to find the most interesting mysteries around. 

Big Apple Bookstore, Fort Lauderdale 

This self-described “quaint” bookstore specializes in used books. You can even bring in your old books by setting up an appointment (just give them a call!). They have a wide variety of titles in a wide variety of genres, so you are sure to find something that sparks your interest. You never know what will be hiding on the shelves! 

Chamblin’s Uptown, Jacksonville

This bookstore has a wide variety of options to choose from when browsing, whether you are in the market for a book or something else. In addition to their books, they offer free wi-fi, wine, beer, local art, and a cafe! They have been in business since 1976 and have approximately 800,000 books in their inventory. 

The Book Cellar, Lake Worth

This bookstore believes in a lot of things, including making a difference through books. It is a place where people love to hang out, eat good food, and have some beer or wine along with their books. If you are looking for a place with a good atmosphere, this is definitely a place you should stop. 

Writer’s Block Bookstore, Orlando

This bookstore is located in Winter Park, Orlando and is engaged with their community through the events that they hold. They have books ranging from your old favorites to new Indie picks. 

Georgia

Avid Bookshop, Athens

This bookstore has two locations in Athens, and they are locally owned and operated. The bookstore has a specially curated selection, since they believe that reading can change people’s lives for the better. Stop into one of their two locations the next chance you get! 

A Cappella Books, Atlanta

A Cappella Books was opened in 1989 and is home to a large number of titles that range from signed first editions all the way to used classics. They make sure to host a lot of events to help bring authors to the city to meet readers. 

Tall Tales Book Shop, Atlanta

This bookstore was founded in 1979 and has been an active part of the community ever since. They order new books every day and also do a number of out-of-print searches to help you find the book you are looking for. They pride themselves on customer service and promise to wrap your gifts at lightning speed. 

The Story Shop, Monroe

New to the scene in 2016, The Story Shop is home to imaginative and creative works for children. This store is whimsical and fun, just like the stories they sell for you to read to your little ones! 

The Book Lady Bookstore, Savannah

This bookstore offers a wide variety of titles, including new, used, rare, and out-of-print books and has been open since 1978. Though the store is not under original ownership, it is still flourishing in the Savannah community. 

Kentucky

Poor Richard’s Books, Frankfort

This bookstore has been serving the Frankfort community for over 30 years, and if you visit, you’ll be sure to find what you are looking for. While their titles focus a lot of Kentucky-based content, you can still use their space to take a deep breath and escape from the chaos of your everyday life with an item from their cafe.

Carmichael’s Bookstore, Louisville

Carmichael’s has been in business for over 40 years, so it is definitely a local staple that you have to visit while in town. The selection of books is curated from the tastes of the owners mixed with the tastes of the customers who are local to the areas where the stores are located (since they have a few locations around the city now). 

Glover’s Bookery, Lexington

Open since 1978, Glover’s Bookery is a local staple in Lexington.  The store has almost 80,000 volumes, and most of them are hardcover books. They have a large selection of books about horses, Kentuckiana, and military history, however there are books in other categories as well. 

Louisiana

Cottonwood Books, Baton Rouge

This local bookstore is a combination of new and old, where they have 7,000 new titles to choose from in addition to their 35,000 used books. The store additionally sells rare books, if you are looking to find something to add to your book collection. 

Beckham’s Bookshop, New Orleans

This bookstore located in New Orleans was opened in 1967, and the two-story store has between 50 and 60 thousand pre-owned titles. They have some new books, however, the topics are only city, Louisiana, or southern-specific.  If you are looking to visit, this bookstore is both dog and beer friendly!

Crescent City Books, New Orleans

Crescent City Books was founded in 1992, and they are located right across the street from the famous Roosevelt Hotel. Visit their website to learn more and answer Isabella on why you’re not there yet––go ahead, open the website. It will make sense if you do. 

Garden District Book Shop, New Orleans

The Garden District Book Shop is a must see if you are visiting the city. They carry mostly new and used titles regarding the region more so than anything else, but the genres vary immensely from cooking to histories. 

Maryland

Ukazoo Books, Towsen

This bookstore wants to help connect you with books that you are bound to love, from Pulitzer award winners to hard to find or out-of-print books. They will  even buy back your used books for in-store credit, and most of their books are under $10! 

Mystery Loves Company, Oxford

If you are looking for a store dedicated to new and slightly used mysteries, this is your one-stop-shop! Founded in 1991, Mystery Loves Company is all about the well-read mystery reader. However, if mysteries are not your thing, they offer a variety of other genres for you to parooze. 

Old Fox Books and Coffeehouse, Annapolis

This store is stocked with old titles, new titles, and everything in-between.  They believe that books are a means for coming together and learning new ideas, and they cater to all ages. 

The Book Escape, Baltimore

This bookstore was voted the cities best used bookstore!  Take some time to go take a look through the shelves of this extensive store.  If you can’t find something you like, they also have an additional 40,000 books in storage that might be fitting for you! 

Mississippi

Lemuria Books, Jackson

Lemuria Books has something for everyone in their store, as they have been passionate about doing since they were founded in an apartment in 1975.  Now that they are on their third location, they are able to stock the books that their community is looking for, now matter what it may be!

Lorelei Books, Vicksburg

Lorelei books is dedicated to their customers, and because of this, they keep a wide variety of titles in stock.  However, if you can’t find a book in their store, they will happily order it for you so that you get the books that you want.  

Violet Valley Bookstore, Water Valley

This store is an LGBTQ+ feminist bookstore, so if that is something you support (as you should) then definitely take a trip over to this little Indie. They offer books to everyone, no matter what their income is, because they believe that everyone in the community should have access to new and used diverse titles. 

North Carolina

The Island Bookstore, Kitty Hawk

This bookstore has a wide variety of titles in a wide variety of genres, so if you are looking to browse a large collection, this is the perfect place for you! If you find yourself buying too many books (as I often do), they will even ship them to your house for you! 

The Book Rack, Charlotte

This used bookstore has over 50,000 used books in stock, and they are usually all under $6.  Additionally, the store stocks a few new titles, and gears these selections to the local reading lists, that way, if you have required reading, you will always be able to find it at The Book Rack. 

Foggy Pine Books, Boone

Foggy Pine Books believes vehemently that every community should have a dedicated and hardworking bookseller, and they work to fill this role in the city of Boone, NC. They carry a wide variety of titles, so you are bound to find the books that you are looking for, no matter what age! 

Oklahoma

Bound For Glory Books, Tulsa

Bound For Glory Books sells new and used titles in addition to selling vintage and hard to find books.  They also have a variety of other products such as CDs and Vinyls that might interest someone looking to add to their collection. 

Full Circle Bookstore, Oklahoma City

This bookstore maintains over 60,000 new titles and has been doing business in the state of Oklahoma for over thirty years. They are the largest independent bookstore in the state and have large sections dedicated to writers from Oklahoma alongside their typical collections of books. 

South Carolina

Nevermore Books, Beaufort

Nevermore books is located in Beaufort, SC, and they have over 10,000 titles.  This bookstore also offers a variety of discounts, so you can save a little bit of money on your books! 

Books on Broad, Camden

Books on Broad sells new, used, and collectible books. They have worldwide delivery and over 5 million titles between their print and ebooks. 

Main Street Reads, Summerville

This local spot next to the park is in the perfect location if you are looking to relax. You can head on into the store, pick up a new book, and then head on over to the park to read!

Tennessee 

Parnassus Books, Nashville

This bookstore is named after a very famous mountain (the home of literature, music, and learning) from Greek mythology, and they strive to uphold the meaning through how they run their bookstore. Not only that, but one of the store’s owners is none other than bestselling author Ann Patchett. 

Star Line Books, Chattanooga

Born out of the lack of a book community, Star Line is taking strides to help Chattanooga bring books into the town. This bookstore only offers a curated selection of new titles, which is unlike any other bookstore in the city of Chattanooga.  

Union Ave Books, Knoxville

This bookstore is a wonderful place to go and browse, especially if you like dogs. If you visit this local Indie, you may just run into Scout the Shop Dog! She may even recommend a book or two.

Texas

BookPeople, Austin

This has been the leading independent bookstore in Texas since 1970.This bookstore is so great, it was even voted Best Bookstore by Publisher’s Weekly back in 2005.  

Interabang Books, Dallas

New to the scene in 2017, Interabang Books have made their mark in the few short years they have been around.  The store is complete with a wide selection of books for both adults and children alike. 

Brazos Bookstore, Houston

Brazos, founded in 1974, aims to connect readers with both contemporary novels and classic literature through their selection in their store. They also have free author signing events! 

Paragraphs, South Padre Island

Comfortable chairs, free wifi, board games, and a courtyard all in a bookstore? Sign me up! This little shop is a comfy spot to discover your next read from their catalog of new and used books!  

Virginia

One More Page Books, Arlington

This local indie has a wide range of books, wines, and chocolates (all of the owner’s favorite things). Their main goal is to bring the community together over a love of reading.

New Dominion Bookshop, Charlottesville

New Dominion Bookshop was founded in 1924 and have been carefully curating titles for the community since then. At this store, you will find a range of new titles chosen specifically for the Charlottesville community where they are located. 

Downtown Books, Harrisburg

Downtown books has a collection that ranges from books to music and more. They love holding events that will engage the community, so that they are able to keep their doors open.

Mermaid Books, Williamsburg

Mermaid Books features a selection of new, used, and rare books that would be the perfect edition to anyone’s collections. This ever-changing experience is perfect for people who love to return to places where they find unique pieces, only for the entire store to evolve and change each time as they curate and find more items for their customers. 

West Virginia

Taylor Books, Charlston

Opened in 1995, Taylor Books features a cafe that offers a vast range of coffees and treats to free wifi in addition to their books. They also have live music every weekend and classes in their art studios for you to enjoy! 

Books and Brews, Hurricane

This selection of used books surrounds patrons who are enjoying affordable food and drinks in the ambiance of Books and Brews. If you are looking to relax while looking at some used books, this is a good place for you to stop.   

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.