where to buy a book
Whether you’re looking for something specific or “just browsing” — where do you go to get a new (or new to you) book? Your local independent bookstore, assuming you have one nearby? Or that online behemoth named after a massive rainforest?
If you’re lucky enough to have a cozy, independent bookstore near you, I hope that’s where you start all of your book searches. (Unless, of course, you only want to read the book and not own the book … in that case, start at your local public library!)
But if you don’t have a local bookshop nearby … or if you’d rather order a book online, here are a few options that — unlike Amazon — will still allow you to support one or more independent bookstores …
First, scroll down to browse the list and see whether any of my favorite indie bookstores are close enough to you that you could pay them a visit. Or maybe pick one or two from the list, get in touch with them, and ask about their ordering process. If you do order remotely, you’ll still be supporting a local, independent bookstore, even it it’s not in your own town.
But if you’d rather jump online and do your book ordering right away, may I suggest visiting the website of our friends at the Village Lights Bookstore in Madison, Indiana. They have a robust book-search and book-ordering page, where I even found a book I’d been hunting for years and had been unable to find anywhere else. If you go this route, you’ll be supporting a wonderful small-town bookshop and their delightful bookstore cats.
Or, as another alternative, but still without resorting to Amazon, you might want to try the Bookshop.org website. It showcases reading lists, hosts online storefronts for both indie bookshops and other bookish groups (my shop* is here), and pledges to give a hefty percentage of proceeds to brick-and-mortar indie bookstores.
* Disclosure: If you follow one of my links to Bookshop.org — and if you buy a book from my storefront on the site — I receive a small percentage of the sale, at no extra cost to you. And a percentage of the sale is also added to the pool of funds that Bookshop.org distributes among independent brick-and-mortar bookstores. (As of Nov. 2020, less than a year since the website launched, that earnings pool already totals nearly $9 million.)
our favorite cozy bookstores
In an ongoing search for cozy home-away-from-home spots, I’m always on the lookout for delightfully independent bookshops. And, to help you in your search for the same, I’ve compiled (and continue to add to) this list of my favorite U.S. shops that sell new, used, and new-and-used books.
The list below is arranged alphabetically, but if you’d prefer, I’ve also arranged the list by city & state. As my husband and I continue to travel and discover wonderful new-to-us bookstores, I’ll add them to the list.
Whenever you find yourself close to one or more of these, be sure to stop in for a visit!
New York City | 212-753-4455 | website
Asheville, North Carolina | 828-252-0020 | website
Lexington, Kentucky | 859-252-7255 | website
Asheville, North Carolina | 828-253-6631 | website
Louisville, Kentucky | 502-896-6950 | website
New York City | 212-831-3554 | website
Cincinnati, Ohio | 513-541-1394 | website
Lexington, Kentucky | website
Greenville, South Carolina | 864-603-2412 | website
Frankfort, Kentucky | 502-223-8018 | website
New York City | 212-741-2069 | website
Knoxville, Tennessee | 865-951-2180 | website
Columbus, Indiana | 812-376-0778 | website
Madison, Indiana | 812-265-1800 | website
If none of the bookstores listed here are close enough, and you’d like to find one near you, visit IndieBound and click on the big red button that says, “Locate an Independent, Local Bookstore.”
Find Relaxation & Stress Relief through Reading
Subscribe to The Novel Cat’s occasional Read. Purr. newsletter and,
as a free thank-you gift, we’ll send you a copy of our exclusive
guide to the Four Bookish, Cat-Inspired Steps to Feeling Calmer & Happier.