Independent bookstores are a favorite destination for any traveling bibliophile. It’s not the act of buying books but finding books that keeps us going back again and again. It’s like visiting a museum where you’re your own tour guide. Whether you’re visiting a store that sells new books, old books, rare books, or even books organized by color, every trip is a new adventure.
With Washington Post narrowing in on their “Bookstore Of The Year,” we’ve been thinking about the places that are amazing bookstores every year! We’ve compiled three favorites that you have to see for yourself! And next time you’re in town, be sure to stop by; they’ll be happy to have you.
“John King Used Books: Detroit, Michigan” / Via global_ant0n1us
3. John King’s Used Books (Detroit, MI)
The charm of King’s is not just it’s location on a bare city block in Detroit but that fact that it’s so focused on the “getting lost” experience of their collection. It’s main location on Lafayette was formerly the Advance Glove Factory until John K. King purchased the property in 1983 (leaving the giant painting of a glove on the building’s exterior). The interior, however, feels as charming and under appreciated as the city that surrounds it. The building has four floors of books which patrons can navigate using maps that the store provides and the floors above the first are speckled with pull-chord lights and heating lamps to fight the old building’s exposure to the elements. Every trip is a new adventure!
2. Strand (New York, NY)
Strand is has been around since 1927 when it was a part of the six-block 4th Ave. stretch, nicknamed “Book Row.” At its present location on Broadway and 12th Street, Strand offers more the 2.5 million books across genre, advertising over “18-miles of books!” They even offer the option to by books by the foot in order to help new book lovers fill their homes gorgeous antique collections, leather-bound beauties, and books that will pleasantly surprise readers of all ages. Strand is a must-see store for anyone in need of a good read in the city that never sleeps!
1. Tattered Cover “Theater of Ideas” (Denver, CO)
Although there are several locations for Tattered Cover across Denver, the “Theater of Ideas” is so unique! Located on Colfax Ave., Tattered Cover converted the Bonfils Memorial Theater (1953) into a bookstore. The result is fantastic: mezzanines, high ceilings, and stylistic architecture create a spirit in the bookstore that calls forth the elegance of performances past. Tattered Cover is too cool to pass up whether you’re a lover of history, theater, or just the books that fill the building.