An important piece to the puzzle of any vibrant community, independent bookstores are unique windows into any town or city. With a shopping experience you won’t get on-line or at big-box stores, independent bookstores offer personalized guidance to help you find that perfect book to read. Whether you are looking for self-help, a good quick read novel, a thought-provoking science fiction story, or an intense historical drama, the independent bookstores can help you find a story to take you out of your everyday world and transport you to someplace new.
Books just don’t go with you, they take you where you’ve never been.
Shakespeare & Co
120 NW Pacific Ave, Chehalis, WA
Walk into this refurbished old house on the edge of downtown Chehalis and you step into a comfortable, familiar, and friendly living room full of special reading nooks and vintage decor. Offering carefully curated used books and a coffee cafe. With their special surprise-book-of-the-month service where the owner will pick out a book for you based on your preferences and mail it to you, Shakespeare & Co is all about creating a personal shopping experience.
Annie Bloom’s Books
7834 SW Capitol Hwy, Portland, OR
Annie Bloom’s Books is a longtime favorite bookstore in the city well known for its love of books. An active community hub of a neighborhood in SW Portland, Annie Bloom’s Books hosts many author visits and book clubs. A true destination for those that love the community of book lovers.
Vault Books & Brew
20 Cowlitz St West, Castle Rock, WA
Set inside an historic old bank, Vault Books & Brew takes advantage of its unusual location by incorporating the bank’s old vault into the store design. Large windows flood the room with light. The smell of coffee fills the air as you enjoy a good read with your morning cup. Offering a good mixture of new and used books, as well as a trade-in service.
The Book Larder
4252 Fremont Ave N, Seattle WA
A foodie’s dream, this bookstore specializes in cookbooks and lives out this dream with talks, demonstrations, and cooking classes. They carry a carefully selected collection of new, collectible, and imported cookbooks for all who love to cook, bake, and explore the world of food.
The Book Bin
450 Court St NE, Salem, OR
The Book Bin has been a fixture in downtown Salem for over 40 years. Filled to the brim with books, you are sure to find just what you are looking for. They offer a mixture of new and used books, have a book buying service, host open mic poetry readings, and have several book clubs. Don’t forget to stop by and visit their mascot, Rose the cat.
Giant Nerd Books
709 N. Monroe St., Spokane, WA
Looking for something a bit off-the-wall? Giant Nerd Books offers new, used, and rare books with an eclectic mix specializing in comic books, graphic novels, vintage paperbacks, science fiction, as well as classic literature. They’re also into vintage barware. A unique stop while in Spokane!
Cloud and Leaf Bookstore
148 Laneda Ave, Manzanita, OR
When on the Oregon coast, make sure to stop by the Cloud and Leaf Bookstore in Manzanita. A long-time favorite bookstore for locals as well as visitors needing a good book to read while on vacation, the Cloud and Leaf is now owned by an author with several books published herself. Their obvious love of reading is seen in the many handwritten staff recommendation notes taped on the shelves to help you find your perfect read.
509 Fourth Ave E, Olympia, WA
Located in the heart of downtown Olympia’s shopping district, Orca Books offers a wide variety of new and used books. They also specialize in showcasing locally produced artisan art and gifts. A friendly and welcoming staff will help you find a great book choice, and maybe a visit from their loving bookstore cat.
Rebel Heart Books
157 W. California St, Jacksonville, OR
Located in historic downtown Jacksonville, Rebel Heart Books may be small but mighty. Their philosophy is “no categories.” The books are carefully curated, and not sorted into distinct categories. Normally, you might head to the same section, i.e. “I like mysteries” or “I like self-help books” and miss the opportunity to find something you might otherwise have bypassed. Challenging yourself to look past a label embodies the spirit of Rebel Heart Books. But of course if you need a little guidance, they’re always ready to help.
111 Fifth Ave S., Edmonds, WA 98020
If you love meeting authors and discovering new books, Edmonds Bookshop is the pace for you. This community-centered bookshop in the heart of downtown Edmonds north of Seattle is a hub of activity. Their website has great lists of book resources and an active book blog that is fun to follow. Family run since 1972, the staff is more than happy to help you find just the right book.
348 12th Street, Astoria, OR 97103
In historic downtown Astoria, you can find a one-of-a-kind bookstore with personality+ and a fun spirit throughout. From the British police call box in the store to the “blind date with a book” options, you never know what you will find! Small and cozy, with notes placed on books with staff recommendations, you will leave with a smile on your face.
William James Bookseller
829 Water Street, Port Townsend, WA
In the historic old town of Port Townsend, in a historic old building, it is fitting that William James Bookseller specializes in rare books from long ago. They also carry a wide variety of books from inexpensive paperbacks to used and out of print books from all fields of interest. You are sure to find something unique to take home!
A reader lives a thousand lives before they die. Those who do not read, live only once.