I love discovering independent bookstores when I am travelling. Even though I frequent a Barnes and Noble two hours away and visit another one six hours away from time to time, it is the independent bookstores I look for when travelling about the country.
These bookstores vary in size and scope. Some are only resellers; others have the latest releases. Many have coffeeshops within. I have often spent hours wandering through the shelves.
Favorite Independent Bookstores
In Santa Fe, my favorite bookstore is the Collected Works Bookstore and Coffeeshop. This gathering place for both locals and tourists hosts frequent book signings. The books available cover a wide range of current releases mixed with books highlighting the history of the area and travel guides for exploring. I picked up both The Scorpion’s Tail and Head Wounds on my 2021 visit to the store. An additional treat for coffee lovers is the onsite coffeehouse.
The recent review of the Lilac Girls is a result from a visit to The Island Bookstore on Mackinac Island. This small independent was full of tourists and caters to this clientele. The store is only open in season. But they do have an online presence year-round.
The Tattered Cover
My first experience with independent bookstores traces back over thirty years. The Tattered Cover is the most successful of any I frequent. Not only has the bookstore expanded to seven locations centered around the Denver, Colorado area, but sites can be found in Colorado Springs and on all three concourses of Denver International Airport. Furthermore, this crown jewel of independent bookstores erects over one hundred pop-up sites throughout the year.
The Bookworm in Edwards, Colorado is my latest discovery. And it may become my favorite because of the exceptional service. Well-staffed and well-run, The Bookworm employees must be on good terms with their regular customers because they spot newcomers and issue warm welcomes.
My recent visit netted gifts for the grandkids and enough titles to last through Thanksgiving. My first read from the stash was a new release from Bruce Holsinger entitled The Displacements and you will be able to read the already written review next week.
Why Buy at Independent Bookstores?
I frequent my library on a regular basis and currently have two books checked out. But I travel a lot and hate the thought of losing a library book thereby denying someone else the pleasure of reading that selection. So, quite a bit of my discretionary budget goes to books.
Independent bookstores carry local authors and books with settings in nearby locations. Many provide a place to relax and recharge. The resell stores are also an attraction. Sometimes I stumble upon a book by a favored author long out of print. I have added to my Helen MacInnis collection in this way.
Books are a large part of my life. I am thankful for my love of reading. Also, thankful that my husband and kids are all readers. Finally, I am excited for the youngest generation. They are all tiny tots, but they already love books.
If you have a favorite independent bookstore to share, feel free to share in the comments below.