Looking to shop for books for your loved ones this holiday season? I know Amazon’s prices and quick shipping are hard to beat, but consider patronizing small and local bookstores! Often they have been the hardest hit in these times and unlike Amazon or other large corporations, the money you spend goes back into your community or their community in a big way!
For this blog post, I’ve compiled my favorite small bookstores, as well as those you have suggested, in the hopes you show them some love during the holidays!
Bookshops I Love
This little shop is just a half hour drive from where I live and the mother-daughter duo that run it are simply the best! For all your romance reading needs, check out their shop for new releases, used books, and cute book boxes!
The first romance-only bookstore in America, it’s clear why The Ripped Bodice is i c o n i c. Shop their cute store merch, books, and even check out one of the owner’s newly released books, Mad and Bad: Real Heroines of the Regency.
I visited this cute little shop when I was visiting Portland, Maine last fall and it embodies everything I love about indie bookstores AND Portland- I hope to visit someday again!
Will I ever shut up about how much I love Semicolon Chicago? No, no I won’t. This is the first Black woman-owned and operated bookstore in Chicago and though they are relatively new to the scene, they are MIGHTY in giving back to the community. I love love LOVE this store and urge you to shop their wares this holiday season.
Bookshops You’ve Recommended
Birchbark Books and Native Arts is owned and operated by THE Louise Erdrich and is located in Minneapolis, Minnesota! They are one of the few Native-owned bookstores in the United States.
Blue Manatee Literary Project is set in Cincinnati, Ohio and has a great mission- for every book purchased through them, they give a book to a child in need in the Cincinnati area! This is an awesome way to give back while shopping for gifts this holiday season.
Looking to support another Chicago small bookstore? Consider shopping through The Book Cellar-
One of the many Books & Books locations in Florida, Books & Books Key West was co-founded by children’s book powerhouse Judy Blume! Check out all their awesome books, including a large signed collection.
Changing Hands is located in Phoenix and is a former Publisher’s Weekly Best Bookstore of the year! With locations in both Phoenix and Tempe, they have a lot to offer.
Indy Reads started around the time I was in college in Indianapolis, and they too have a great mission- all sales from their store go towards adult literacy classes and initiatives in the greater Indianapolis area! Indianapolis will always have a special place in my heart so please consider patronizing them this holiday season!
The Lit. Bar is a Black woman-owned and operated store in Brooklyn! Not only are they full of incredible books, but the fabulous and stylish Lupita Nyong’o shops there- what more do you need to support this incredible shop???
My pal JG (@theroguerecommender) works here and it was cool enough to be crowned Publisher’s Weekly’s Best Bookstore last year! Literati not only hopes to be the center of Ann Arbor culture, but they also support local businesses with their signs, seating, and more. Seriously, what a cool shop!!!
My friend Andrea (@andreanourse) recommended this shop and guess what- they carry her newest release!!! Nashville’s indie bookstore is also co-owned by illustrious novelist Ann Patchett, so check out their stock today!
According to their site, Sistah Scifi “is a cauldron of all things afro-futurism; Black mysticism, science fiction noir, and traditional voodoo; casting spells to uplift literature written by Black women.” It’s an online only shop, so check out their catalog for all the sci-fi and fantasy lovers in your life!
Subterranean Books is a women-owned and operated shop in St. Louis, Missouri! They have a lot to offer from books to book bundles to even store merch featuring the store dog, Teddy!
Looking for a shop to patronize on the West Coast? Consider shopping Third Place Books, located near Seattle, Washington! In addition to selling books, in non-COVID 19 times they strive for their stores to be community places too!
My dear friend Kati (@shelfmadewoman) sings the praises of this small indie bookseller in Chicago! It is owned and operated by trans inclusive feminists with the goal to celebrate and amplify underrepresented voices- indeed they are one of the largest feminist stores in the country!
I hope you consider shopping small this holiday season, and a great way to support small businesses is shopping through organizations like Bookshop!
Almost all profits of sales through Bookshop.org go directly to support small and indie bookstores- many of the stores in this post have Bookshop storefronts meaning that when you shop through those links, the proceeds go directly to THAT store- cool right?
If you’re an audiobook fan or have one in your life, consider shopping Libro.fm too!
Libro.fm offers hundreds of thousands of audiobooks on their platforms, and your purchase of the audiobooks goes back to independent bookstores! They even offer a monthly subscription (similar to Audible) that would make a great gift this holiday season.
Do you plan on shopping at one of these bookstores this holiday season, or did I miss your favorite indie? Sound off in the comments below!
Until next time…