17 Independent Bookstores That Are So Cool, You'll Hardly Believe They're For Real

Try using the arrow keys

May 2 is Independent Bookstore Day, so I figured I'd do two things: present you with this slideshow of 17 independent bookstores to knock off your socks, and tell you a little story about my own... shall we say "history" as an independent bookseller myself. Ready?

At age 5, with the blessing (or at least the blissful ignorance) of my indulgent parents, I gathered up the best our family shelves had to offer, created a stamp, mocked up my own membership cards, and officially opened up the Hannah M. Nelson-Teutsch Library. I got quite the kick out of noting down loans and returns in a little red notebook, but every so often one of my customers (and by that I mean one of my fellow kindergarteners) would make me an offer too good to refuse, and I would simply have to sell. Granted, although I'm not sure that a few un-taxable and vaguely illicit early sales (let's not get into whose books I was lending... and occasionally selling) exactly qualifies me as a genuine independent bookseller, it's a fun tale to tell.

I love thinking of myself as a bookseller, if only in my mind, because independent bookstores are amazing. Of course, not all are created equal. Surely my rinkadink basement operation can hardly compare to many of the more established options out there, but even within the realm of wholly legitimate professional operations, some shops that stand out above others. So, I humbly present 17 independent bookstores that will totally blow your mind.

Image: lukas_y2k/flickr

More Slideshows