Bookstores and libraries are my favorite places, or my son would say my obsession. I can spend hours wandering around, following my curiosity to my next book. Books changed my life. I became an author for my love of writing and passion for books and reading.
In bookshops, my creativity feasts on book-related merchandise, handcrafted journals, and books! Bookstores are important. They are a lifeline to learning about new books and finding unique writing materials. In addition to my book obsession, I also have a strong tendency to purchase journals during my travels. Earlier this year, I thought of driving around the country, visiting libraries and bookstores, and then sharing my experiences with readers. I have added this idea to my 2023 to-do list.
The first part of the list is my favorite bookstores I have visited and purchased books. The second part of the list is my favorite bookstores that I follow on Instagram.
In 2018, when I was speaking at a conference in the U.K., I had an opportunity to visit Hatchards. The whole experience was overwhelming as I roamed around, scanning the books. Deciding which books to purchase was a difficult task. While we were in London, I made multiple trips. The sensation of being in the store, thinking of the authors who had held their book signings while gazing at the brilliant book collections, was inspiring. The store ooze of literature intelligence. I thought of all the stories, historical tales, and poems waiting to be discovered and read.
East Sandwich, MA, USA
Last year, my son and I drove to the East Coast, and I discovered Titcomb’s Book Shop in East Sandwich, MA, which reminded me of Hatchards. We were on a tight travel schedule, and I had only twenty minutes to shop. Titcomb’s is one of the coolest bookshops I’ve visited. The books, merchandise, calendars, vintage books, and everything I saw instantly charged my creative batteries. I could have spent a day in the store, which is an excellent reason to plan a return trip! If you are visiting Cape Cod, be sure to stop by Titcomb’s.
Carmel, California, USA
On my first visit to Pilgrims Way, I purchased a book that would change my life. At the time, I didn’t know that the road I was traveling would shift course. The store has a curated collection of books for the mind, heart, and soul, plus best-selling authors. Each time I visited the bookstore, I discovered a book that would leave a lasting impact on my life. Unfortunately, this is the last bookstore in the Carmel area.
Dallas, Texas, USA
About three times a month, I visit the Flagship Half Price Book stores, I’ve had three book signing events at this location, and the staff is always friendly and helpful. Management is supportive of local authors, even though the store is focused on selling used books. When researching a book, I always go to Half Price because I can always find unique books that are out of print or no longer available. HPB is like a second home, as I can spend an hour or more in the store.
Austin, Texas, USA
In 2014, I had my first book signing event at Book People. The thrill of having my book on the shelf and people listening to what I had to say was exhilarating. The store is two stories filled with a fantastic collection of books.
These are the bookshops I follow on Instagram that I love based on their posts and websites.
Where do you begin to write about Shakespeare & Company Bookstore in Paris? The original bookstore was founded by Silvia Beach in 1919. In April 1964, George Whitman renamed the bookstore he had started in Paris after Beach. Both Beach and Whitman were Americans and committed their lives to books, authors, and the printed word.
Following bookstores in Europe feels refreshing as the topics and stories are different. I also follow The American Library in Paris. I do not speak French. However, listening to author interviews, I think I’m in Europe, for a moment, on another adventure.
Mystic, Connecticut, USA
I started following Bank Square Books after our trip to the East Coast. Unfortunately, the store was closed when I arrived, but I was able to window shop!
Belgrade Lakes, ME, USA
I love the story of how Oliver & Friends was founded. Most authors, at least the ones I know, dream of owning a bookstore. I know I do. Renee launched her business during the pandemic, and I admire her determination to succeed.
Please take a few moments to purchase from an independent bookstore. Indie Bound is a great place to start.