Literary Site Type: Indie Bookstore

Books Are Magic: Montague Street

Located in Brooklyn Heights neighborhood of Brooklyn, New York, the second location of Books Are Magic opened in 2022. Owned by Emma Straub and Michael Fusco-Straub, the independent community bookstore sells a variety of books, including best-sellers, titles by local authors, and a wide selection of kids’ books. The shop also hosts literary events such as book launches, readings, and talks. Their flagship store is located in the Cobble Hill neighborhood of Brooklyn.

McNally Jackson Books: Soho

For nineteen years, McNally Jackson's flagship store, which opened in 2004, was located at 52 Prince Street and is now a few blocks west at 134 Prince Street. The larger space opened in early 2023 and features a wide selection of books and a bustling café. The bookstore is open daily from 10:00AM to 8:00PM. McNally Jackson Books has five locations, three in Manhattan and two in Brooklyn.

Willa’s Books & Vinyl

Willa’s Books & Vinyl in Kansas City specializes in used and rare African American books, first editions, and works of a wide variety of authors. The shop also maintains a large collection of African American history books, literature, vintage jazz and blues LPs, soul 45s, and rare selections of vintage magazines.

More Than Words: Boston

This bookstore is the second location of More Than Words, an independent nonprofit youth-run bookstore supporting and empowering young adults who are in the foster care system, court-involved, houseless, or out of school. Donations of books and clothing are accepted, and the bookstore also hosts author events and can be rented out for events. Visitors can browse and purchase books, gifts, and music. Their flagship location is in Waltham, Massachusetts.

More Than Words: Waltham

Located in Waltham, Massachusetts, More Than Words is an independent nonprofit youth-run bookstore supporting and empowering young adults who are in the foster care system, court-involved, houseless, or out of school. Donations of books and clothing are accepted, and the bookstore also hosts author events. Visitors can browse and purchase books, gifts, and music. There is a second location in the South End neighborhood of Boston.

McNally Jackson Books: Rockefeller Center

McNally Jackson Books opened its fifth bookstore in New York City at 1 Rockefeller Center in Midtown Manhattan in 2023. This is the largest of their bookstores (at seven thousand square feet) and features a wide selection of books and a full Goods for the Study stationery section. The bookstore is open daily from 10:00AM to 8:00PM. McNally Jackson Books has five locations, three in Manhattan and two in Brooklyn.

Storefront of McNally Jackson Books in Rockefeller Center.

McNally Jackson Books: Downtown Brooklyn

Located on the ground floor of the City Point development at 445 Albee Square West in Downtown Brooklyn, this bookstore opened in 2020 and includes a wide selection of books with a rare book section and children’s section. The shop hosts literary events including a storytime series for children. McNally Jackson Books has five locations, three in Manhattan and two in Brooklyn.

Buxton Books

Buxton Books, an independent bookstore in Charleston, South Carolina, offers a wide selection of fiction and nonfiction books, and works by South Carolina Lowcountry authors, including signed copies. Additionally, they carry books about Charleston’s history and culture, including The Ghosts of Charleston by owner Julian Buxton, which inspired walking ghost tours in the city based on its stories. Buxton Books hosts readings with authors from local to legendary and is open daily from 10:00 AM to 9:30 PM.

Last Exit Books and Coffeehouse

Last Exit Books and Coffeehouse is a distinctive independent bookstore located in downtown Kent, Ohio. Their inventory encompasses a diverse range of items: secondhand books, DVDs, CDs, and an extensive collection of vinyl records. Situated at the front of the store is a charming coffee house serving locally roasted coffee and baked goods. The shop frequently hosts open mic nights for writers and musicians, as well as an ongoing poetry reading series.

Jim Reed Books

Also known as the “Museum of Fond Memories,” Jim Reed Books provides a whimsical environment for readers to explore rare secondhand books and memorabilia, as well as new books. Vintage artifacts include movie posters, election buttons, comic books, and old diaries. For over forty years, owner and author Jim Reed has procured the obscure items in this unique bookstore in downtown Birmingham, Alabama. The bookshop is open Tuesday through Saturday and has its inventory listed online.

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