It’s National Read a Book Day, and we are celebrating by looking at unique bookstores across the United States.
Here are 10 bookstores that every book lover should visit:
Back of Beyond
Located near Arches National Park in southern Utah, Back of Beyond Books is “a dusty desert bookshop dedicated to writing about the West,” according to the Deseret News. The bookstore takes its name from Edward Abbey’s “The Monkey Wrench Gang.” At this truly local bookstore, you’ll find guidebooks to the area, environmental literature and a bookcase dedicated to rare editions of Abbey’s works.
Charis Books and More
Inside a purple house near Atlanta, Georgia, is the South’s oldest independent feminist bookstore, according to bookshop.org. Charis Books and More, founded in 1974, specializes in feminist literature and cultural studies as well as unique children’s literature.
City Lights Booksellers & Publishers
San Francisco, California
Since 1953, City Lights has been a literary site known for its anti-authoritarianism. Both a bookstore and a publisher, City Lights is famous for publishing Beat poet Allen Ginsberg’s “Howl.” According to the City Lights website, the “Beats’ legacy of anti-authoritarian politics and unconstrained intellectual curiosity continues to be a strong influence in the store.”
Faulkner House Books
New Orleans, Louisiana
Once the home of writer William Faulkner, this bookstore in the French Quarter of New Orleans is a “sanctuary for fine literature and rare editions,” according to the bookstore’s website. This is the best place to go for books by and about Faulkner.
Henry Miller Memorial Library
Big Sur, California
Located in Big Sur on the scenic Pacific Coast Highway is the Henry Miller Memorial Library — a bookstore, concert venue and nonprofit dedicated to author Henry Miller, who lived and wrote in Big Sur. Here you’ll find books nailed to walls, tied to trees and hanging from the ceiling, as well as plenty of books by and about Miller.
The King’s English Bookshop
Salt Lake City, Utah
In a cozy cottage in Salt Lake City you’ll find The King’s English Bookshop — eight rooms filled with all types of books. The bookstore has been “matching books to readers since 1977,” according to its site.
The Last Bookstore
Los Angeles, California
Inside an old bank is a maze of new and used books and records where you will find art installations made out of towering books. The Last Bookstore even has a walk-in vault full of horror and true crime books.
The Montague Bookmill
On the banks of the Sawmill River in Montague, Massachusetts, is an 1842 gristmill that has been turned into a unique used bookstore. At The Montague Bookmill you’ll also find a café and pub, a music store and an arts gallery.
Powell’s City of Books
Powell’s City of Books takes up an entire block in Portland and is the largest independent bookstore in the world, according to its website. The massive bookstore has around a million books spanning across nine color-coded rooms with different sections in each room.
New York City, New York
The Strand in New York is another famous bookstore known for its massive book selection. Established in 1927, this independent bookstore has four floors of books. Don’t forget to check out the top floor to see the Strand’s impressive Rare Book Room.