No matter how bleak the news about publishing gets, independently owned bookstores are surviving, and in some cases thriving, in an Amazon-ruled, post-bookstore chain environment that shouldn’t necessarily be hospitable to shops that handsell books to locals. Enough has been written about why you should support your local indie that you shouldn’t need us to tell you about that. So as we approach the season when you’ll be spending money on gifts, as well as looking for engrossing reads to get you through the cold winter, we’re instead supplying you with a list of 45 great American indie bookstores (in no particular order) that sell new or used novels, art books, zines, coffee, that biography you really need to read, and/or delicious vegan treats — all of which are as important to their community as any business you can think of, and deserve your support.
Parnassus Books, Nashville, TN
When Nashville lost its only indie bookstore, author Ann Patchett and Karen Hayes decided to do the reasonable thing: they opened up Parnassus, because they believed that books should be bought from people, not the Internet. If you’re ever anywhere near Nashville, you owe yourself a trip to visit Ann and Karen.