Even with the advent of eBooks, independent bookstores are still alive and well thanks to the efforts of owners and loyal customers. Independent bookstores offer a space to curl up with a cup of coffee and classic for an afternoon of escape. Next time you’re looking for a future read, head to one of these excellent establishments and show your local support.
Locals love Antigone Books. That’s because they have a large selection of books written by Arizonan authors. This quirky bookstore is located right in Tucson’s Fourth Avenue shopping district. Though Antigone has a feminist slant, they carry books for all ages and interests. They also have a number of trinkets and gifts. You’ll find everything from candles to magnets to socks in their storefront. This independent bookstore is also 100 percent solar-powered. Antigone’s commitment to good books and practices make it easy to see why Tucson Weekly voted them the best independent bookstore.
Mostly Books is proof that you don’t have to judge a book by its cover. On the surface, Mostly Books looks like a tiny bookstore and is even dwarfed by the nearby Bookmans. Take a step inside, however, and you’ll find books galore. Mostly Books fills shelf after shelf with new and used books of all genres. They also have host tons of events—including author presentations and panel discussions during the Tucson Festival of Books.
Changing Hands has been a local book haven since 1974. At the time, the owners geared their store towards selling books not readily available at other bookstores. Today, Changing Hands encompasses two stores with a huge selection of books. This long-standing store has become a local destination for shopping, reading, and conversation. They host regular author readings and book some of the biggest names in literature for their events. Their Phoenix location is also home to First Draft—a beer and wine bar and perfect place to cozy up with your newest book.
Peregrine Book Company is Prescott’s largest independent bookstore. Though it’s locally owned and operated, it has the inventory to compete with top national chains. Located in a large, warehouse style building, Peregrine is filled with a wide selection of new and used books, magazines, and gift items. They also have a fully decked out children’s section complete with comfy chairs, stuffed animals, and toys. Peregrine also hosts author readings, book clubs, and workshops.
One man’s trash is another man’s treasure. That’s certainly the case at Book Gallery. This locally run used bookstore has a little bit for everything for book collectors. They have a large selection of fiction and nonfiction for every type of reader. You’ll find everything from first editions to rare antiques in their bookcases. Book Gallery has a vintage and inviting feel that make it a perfect place for browsing.
Poisoned Pen is an independent bookstore and a hub for fans of mystery. Located in Old Town Scottsdale, Poisoned Pen houses a huge collection of mystery books and fiction. They also specialize in local literature and books pertaining to the American Southwest. Poisoned Pen is also known for hosting author signing, book clubs, and a mystery conference.