Independent Bookstore Day: Best Local Favorites

Independent Bookstore Day is April 29th, 2024

As a longtime collector of books, I find the addiction of prowling through a bookstore like a garage sale to memorabilia collectors. I can’t resist the lure. Despite the convenience of ordering a book online or having a reader with the book downloaded, in my mind, it can never replace the pleasure of wandering through a bookstore where I can easily lose myself for hours. The tactile senses and the hunt are missing from the online experience. I love holding a book in my hands, knowing I can put it on my bookshelf and rediscover the joy of reading it in the future.

Independent Bookstore Day

More times than I’d care to count, I have ambled along rows of bookshelves, my gaze avidly locked on the plethora of books, a veritable treasure cove of intrigue, mystery, and romance. Occasionally, I stop when an intriguing cover catches my eye or I see a new one from a favorite author. I can pull the book from the shelf to scrutinize the cover more closely, then flip it over to read the short descriptive phrases about the plot. I can open the book to read the first chapter or jump to the end, as I have done on many occasions. I cannot deny that I like books with good endings. Sometimes, it only takes the first sentence to hook me. I’ve found what I call a keeper. I usually carry a canvas book bag, which is easier than balancing books in my arms or negotiating aisles with a shopping cart. My latest book bag has an illustration of stacks of books and a coffee cup on each side, with the words, NEVER ENOUGH! 

And speaking of coffee, when the aromatic scent of freshly brewed coffee tickles my nose, I am like a dog on point as I sniff the air. Add in several easy chairs, and it is a guarantee I am in for the long haul. Just the thought of snuggling into one of those chairs, with a cup of coffee close at hand on the small table, makes me want to stroll over and start reading. 

So, with my now heavy book bag filled with my keepers slung over my shoulder, I head to the checkout counter where I fully plan to make my vision of that easy chair, a cup of coffee, and reading one of my newly acquired treasures a reality.

Another joy I have discovered in my jaunts through bookstores is the book events, whether it is a book signing by a local author, which is always of interest, or meetings for authors and readers to talk about books. Oh, my gosh, what fun.

Independent Bookstore Day

Thousands of independent bookstores, typically single stores and not national chains, are the backbone of bookstores across the country. Many are located in small towns. Independent bookstores are more than a seller of books. They are a part of the local community, offering opportunities for readers to meet local authors, participate in book club events, reading programs for children, and other types of events.

Saturday, April 27, 2024, is Independent Bookstore Day. Independent bookstores nationwide will celebrate this national book holiday. According to the American Booksellers Association’s (ABA) website, it’s a party you don’t want to miss! 

For almost 125 years, the American Booksellers Association has been the guiding voice for independently-owned bookstores. Founded in 1900, ABA is a national not-for-profit trade organization that supports the success of independent bookstores. 

The ABA represents 2500+ bookstores. So let the party begin. Check out the local bookstore in your area to discover the fun activities, freebies and other events planned.

Here are some of The Crew‘s favorite independent bookstores

Tolstoy & Co. Bookshop
113 N. Avenue D
Clifton, Texas

Tolstoy & Co. Bookshop is a charming bookstore with an around-the-corner bookshop type of vibe. The first time I walked inside, I fell in love with this bookshop. Books and a coffee shop—my kind of bookstore. It was the type of bookstore I had always envisioned I’d like to own. One that offers a wide selection of books, gift items, and a place where people can gather. 

Tolstoy and Co. Bookshop is a vital part of the small community. The bookshop hosts author book signings, book discussions, and other community events. There is nothing not to like about this delightful bookstore.

Even the children’s section, with its painted illustrations, is adorable. It is just the right image to encourage young minds to discover the joys of reading. 

Arts & Letters Bookstore
113 E. Bridge St. 
Granbury, Texas

We want customers to be able to find a book, buy it right now, and read it immediately. We offer new books for children and adults.

Our inventory includes literary fiction, nonfiction, current events, biographies, history, mystery, science fiction and fantasy, essays, plays, poetry, and children’s literature. 

In addition, Arts and Letters offers greeting cards, teas, and unique items you won’t find anywhere else.

Located on Granbury’s historic town square, in a historic building, Arts & Letters Bookstore adds a warm welcome to the dynamic downtown atmosphere. This is a bookstore that entices a visitor to browse slowly. The eclectic selection of books and unique gifts makes it nearly impossible to walk out without a bag filled with books and goodies. 

Throughout the year and in the many events that attract tourists worldwide, Arts & Letters Bookstore is an integral element, hosting author events, children’s activities and so much more. 

417 Books
105 S. Commercial St.
Branson, Missouri

Located in historic downtown Branson, 417 Books promotes a community of book lovers and has created a lovely place for readers to gather and talk about their favorite books. Their website says that they believe that books have the power to change lives, and they are committed to supporting and promoting literature in all its forms.

This hidden gem in Branson is a personal favorite of mine, and I love their mission and commitment to the area around them; it even extends to their name, 417, which is the local area code! The historic brick building is cozy, and their staff is always helpful in recommending good books. It is one of my favorite bookstores of all time.

Doylestown Bookshop/ Lahaska Bookshop
16 S. Main Street.
Doylestown, Pennsylvania

This unique independent bookshop in the middle of historic Doylestown, PA, is one of my favorites to visit when I’m in the area. They have a unique selection of books and gifts, and I always leave with a little longer ‘TBR’ pile than I went in with. They have a very knowledgeable staff who are friendly. They’ve never steered me wrong on a good book recommendation. I am so happy that they have expanded their local stores over the last few years to now include Lahaska Bookshop as well!

I LOVE their mission statement:

Inspiring a love of reading which fosters intellectual growth……..
……..bringing discovery, knowledge, adventure, fantasy, magic, the past, the present, and the future to each and every reader.
Supporting and connecting to our community through books and events……..
……..offering a choice for entertainment and education while enhancing the quality of life in our community.
Providing an inviting and comfortable space……..
……..including shelves of books to explore, aisles of toys and gifts to wander through, a cafe to refresh and refuel and cozy chairs to rest and read in.
Welcoming and supporting families……..
……..providing books, games and toys that grow the imagination and bring parents and children together.
Helping every customer find just the right book……..
……..enriching the personal, educational and professional experience of our customers.

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