While online retailers and e readers have taken their toll on bookstore business across the country, these independent venues demonstrate that a bookstore is not only a place to find books new, used, rare or otherwise but also an important community gathering where you can hear great author lectures, get recommendations from a knowledgeable employee or simply talk literature with friends over a good cup of coffee. Let find out These Most Beautiful Bookshops in The United States below.
These Most Beautiful Bookshops in The United States
City Lights – San Francisco, CA
Founded in 1953 by poet Lawrence Ferlinghetti and Peter D. Martin, City Lights is not only one of the nation’s greatest independent bookshops, but it also has a literary history equalled by few others. In 1955, Ferlinghetti launched City Lights Publishers in order to present the work of Beat poets like Jack Kerouac and was famously put on trial for obscenity after publishing Allen Ginsberg’s Howl and other Poems.
The publishing arm continues to publish new works and translations of important international authors to this day, and at its historic North Beach location, you can find an extensive collection of political works as well.
John K. King Used & Rare Books
With a lifelong passion for books, John K. King eventually had to find a space large enough to hold his collection, which necessitated a gigantic four story former glove factory in downtown Detroit. Now containing over a million volumes, John K. King Used & Rare Books specializes in out of print, rare, and out of the ordinary books, and even includes archival materials like the books and papers of the auto barons from Dodge to DeLorean.
Twenty employees help customers navigate the uncomputerized collection that is divided into 900 categories and presided over by two dogs and two canaries. These Most Beautiful Bookshops in The United States.
The Last Bookstore – Los Angeles, CA
Despite its rather apocalyptic moniker, The Last Bookstore is a large and beautiful space located among the pillars of the historic Crocker Bank Building in downtown Los Angeles. Located in an area that has undergone major revitalization in recent years, the bookstore holds regular literary and musical events, contributing to the vibrancy of the community. These Most Beautiful Bookshops in The United States.
It also houses a vinyl LP shop and a graphic novel shop, and shares a space with the Spring Arts Collective, which hosts changing exhibitions of local contemporary artists in the adjoining galleries. For those who venture upstairs into what is called the Labyrinth Above the Last Bookstore’, over 100,000 books await in the bookshop’s newest mezzanine space, all priced at each.
Powell’s City of Books – Portland, OR
Founded in 1971 in an unassuming spot in northwest Portland, Powell’s Books has become one of the largest independent bookstores in the world, and it definitely remains one of the most famous bookstores in the United States. Now with four locations the City of Books being its main location Powell’s created an online site before the behemoth Amazon came into the picture, thereby securing its continued longevity. If you are looking for a book, there is a very high likelihood that you can find it here, along with a never ending supply of passionate book lovers who wander happily through the aisles looking for their next discovery.
Parnassus Books – Nashville, TN
After the last major bookstore closed in Nashville, author Ann Patchett took on the responsibility of opening one herself with partner Karen Hayes, seizing the opportunity to create, in place of the usual Borders type monolith, a bookstore like those she frequented in her youth, where the people who worked there remembered who you were and what you read, even if you were 10.
In an intimate space equipped with a piano for monthly concerts, with Parnassus Patchett has realized that one of the most rewarding benefits of being in personal contact with readers is being able to recommend books she loves. Her writer friends often come by to read and sign books too.
Tattered Cover Book Store – Denver, CO
Tattered Cover now has four branches in the metro area, and three satellite stores at Denver International Airport.
The stores have hosted most of the major authors of the world, with community events nearly every night. The location in Denver’s historic Lower Downtown district is an intimate and welcoming spot with comfy couches and armchairs, a large newsstand, and cafe. That is once of These Most Beautiful Bookshops in The United States.