10 Beautiful Bookstores You Need To Visit In America

Bookshop road trip, anyone?

It’s no secret that walking into a bookstore can be a magical and delightful experience.

The real question is: Can you ever have too many beautiful bookstores in your life? Yelp identified the best bookstores in the country by looking at both the number of reviews and the star-rating, then hand-selected the most dazzling stores from that list.

So here are 19 incredible bookstores you need to see for yourself, as told by the Yelp users who love books and ambiance just as much as the rest of us.

1. Bart’s Books, Ojai, California

sub-buzz-9230-1476293776-1.pngsub-buzz-29960-1476293887-1.png

“This is an open-air bookstore open until sunset every day that provides hours of entertainment (if you’re a bookworm like me). There is a great mix of new and used books here and the selection is impressive.” —Yelper Kat F.

“Do not miss the cookbooks located in what was once the kitchen of the old house. Through the kitchen lies the special edition, higher priced books.” —Yelper Debra R

2. Faulkner House Books, New Orleans

sub-buzz-25851-1476228097-3.png

“The bookshelves are beautifully designed and use the small space very efficiently. They seem to focus on literary authors and have a good bit of poetry but also carry some ‘local interest’ too.” — Yelper Jen B

The most adorable bookstore that used to be Faulkner’s home. How awesome is that?! It isn’t a huge store but what it lacks in size it makes up totally in charm.” —Yelper Sana J.

3. The Writer’s Block, Las Vegas

sub-buzz-15133-1476233316-1.png

sub-buzz-9219-1476293960-1.png

You know when you walk into a place and there’s an immediate, visceral reaction that would make you do nearly anything to have that place exist forever and ever? The Writer’s Block is such a place and despite not planning on buying a book I bought one anyway as a sort of pledge to to the continued existence of this place — I hope to all that is good and decent in this world — forever and ever and ever. ” —Yelper Jon-Paul B.

“It’s small, but crammed full of new and interesting books. I caught eye of many of the latest in literary fiction, cool art books, and just all sorts of excellent selections. For the nerds out there, they even had a copy of Hyrule Historia for sale!” —Yelper Shay B.

4. Idlewild Books, New York City

sub-buzz-3602-1476229363-4.png

“Idlewild is more than just travel guides. Amongst the Lonely Planets, there are novels and collections of travel writing, all arranged by country. If you’re planning a big international trip, this store is a must.” —Yelper Jennifer H.

“This world needs more specialty independent bookstores. Idlewild specializes in ‘travel books,’ in the most all-encompassing sense: they do an excellent job of curating both the essential tour guides and other types of literature (fiction, essays, history) about the country you’re (dreaming about) visiting.” —Yelper Elaine W.

5. The Montague Book Mill, Montague, Massachusetts

sub-buzz-6129-1476233054-1.png

sub-buzz-9200-1476294044-2.png

“Situated in an old New England mill overlooking a rushing river cascading over falls and rocks, a giant compound which basically consists of a bookshop with an AMAZING selection of second-hand books, a cafe, a restaurant, a music and film shop AND a local artist’s co-op and gallery, I could easily spend an entire day here and lose all track of time and space.” —Yelper Bobby A.

“This place is a hidden gem! An incredible location, just the perfect place to linger and browse the stacks and stacks of books on nearly every subject! There are plenty of comfy chairs situated near windows that overlook a river flowing below.” —Yelper Mj W

6. Baldwin Book Barn, West Chester, Pennsylvania

sub-buzz-15738-1476294234-1.png

sub-buzz-9179-1476294152-11.png

An amazing collection of both vintage and older used books fill multiple floors of this amazing barn. There is a big collection of military and political books as well as the usual fiction, art, photography, medical, travel, local interest, and cookbooks among the shelves.” —Yelper L N.

“Cats. We found at least two well-fed cats wandering the property… Well, one wandering, and the other sleeping inside. The wandering one greeted everybody that got out a car or walked in from the road. Very friendly!” —Yelper Jude T.

7. Brattle Book Shop, Boston

sub-buzz-29842-1475776879-1.png

“Too freakin cute. An open air bookstore wedged between brick buildings in downtown Boston. You’ll find everything from used gardening books to classics and everywhere in between. There’s also a small indoor section but the books under the sun steal the show.” —Yelper Brittany S.

“They have a large number of books from $1 to $5, including entire book sets. These are ‘bargain’ books displayed in a small lot adjacent to the actual book shop.” —Yelper Dee L.

8. City Lights Bookstore, San Francisco

sub-buzz-16131-1475777933-1.pngsub-buzz-11115-1476294303-1.png

“Ahhhh, City Lights! Classic indie bookstore and San Francisco gem. Tucked away in Chinatown amidst a spectacle of neighboring night clubs, bars, trendy coffee shops and eats. It’s perfectly grungy yet hip enough to satisfy any book lover’s dream.” —Yelper Rachel Ann C.

“This is a quite large, three-story bookshop that you can really get lost in. I love that it has plenty of rooms with natural light (a rarity in most bookshops). Sitting in the rocking chair in the poetry room, I wanted to spend all day there reading.” —Yelper Jordan T.

9. BookBar, Denver

sub-buzz-9713-1475776601-1.pngsub-buzz-17702-1476294564-1.png

“Holy mother of guacamole, I love this place. I am a longstanding sucker for any place that sells books/coffee/book-related novelty and BookBar brings all this together into a wonderful smoothie of delightfulness.” —Yelper Xan P.

“BookBar quickly became one of my favorite spots in Denver. Offering up fantastic reads, gifts, and trinkets, BookBar is a perfect getaway for those looking to wrap up that last-minute project while sipping on local flavors.” — Yelper Anthony S

10. Dickson Street Bookshop, Fayetteville, Arkansas

sub-buzz-25742-1476227661-14.png

sub-buzz-2547-1476300649-1.png

“Wonderful bookstore! It reminded me of Shakespeare & Company in Paris. Floor-to-ceiling books, rows upon rows. And very well organized.” —Yelper Amanda H.

“Walking through the doors transports you to another land. A land filled with BOOKS. And I’m talking about every kind of book you could possibly think of and/or desire.” —Yelper Daisy D.

IT

Okay guys… As you may or may not have heard but IT by Steven King is coming out Septmeber 8th 2017… and I could not be happier. However I do not like clowns by any means and the tralier is horrifying. Im going to have to re-read the book before it comes out 🤡🎈🎈 stay tuned for an Analysis of the book and the movie and the original in one epic post  

Hot Dudes Reading

14192158_973419426136955_217268765675784680_n.jpg

Influence is the ability to have an effect on the behavior of others, and I’m willing to bet this psychology buff can influence the kind of behavior I have in mind. I doubt this particular lesson is covered in any of those chapters so let’s skip ahead to the part about applying those skills hands-on. We both know this kind of training is more effective anyways. #PavlovDoggyStyle #hotdudesreading

Book Review #163

22557272.jpg

Hardcover, 325 pages

Published January 13th 2015 by Riverhead Books

Original Title: The Girl on the Train

ISBN: 1594633665 (ISBN13: 9781594633669)

Edition Language: English

Characters: Rachel Watson, Anna Watson, Tom Watson, Megan Hipwell, Scott Hipwell, Kamal Abdic

Setting: London, England (United Kingdom)

Literary Awards: Audie Award for Audiobook of the Year (2016), Goodreads Choice Award for Mystery & Thriller (2015), Waterstones Book of the Year Nominee (2015), Woman & Home Reader’s Choice Award for Best Thriller Of The Year (2016)

I read this one out of curiosity. Aware that it had been a huge market success, I wondered if it merited the sales. According to Riverhead, The Girl on the Train is, or was, the fastest-selling adult hardcover fiction debut ever. And that is a shame. With so many great books being published every year that do little or no business, for this one to have secured a first class ticket on the book-sales express can only be dispiriting to the good and great writers everywhere toiling away in third class on the oft-delayed local. I do not mean to say that The Girl… is a bad book. Although I believe it to be seriously flawed, it is most definitely entertaining and will no doubt help hundreds of thousands of readers while away a few hours of their (our) lives, getting from this station to that. But if you want a psychological thriller that doesn’t disregard red signals you would do better to book a seat elsewhere. Rachel Watson has had a tough go of it. When her hopes of having a baby with hubby Tom did not work out, she landed in a trough of post-hope depression, and self-medicated with a steady flow of what seemed happier spirits. It did not work out. Now, divorced and unemployed as a result of her drinking, growing larger and pastier by the day, Rachel rides the commuter train to London on weekday mornings, pretending she is still working, pretending she still has a life. The ride takes her past her old neighborhood, offering a nice, mood dampening view of a stretch of railroad-edge homes. She used to live in one of those, before her ex bought out her interest. A few places away from her former home there is a couple she sees most days. She imagines lives for them, nursing this fantasy for quite some time, until she learns that the woman has vanished, and the game is afoot. The notion for the story occurred to Hawkins on her regular train ride in London some years back. She calls it “Rear-Window-ish,” noting that it is hardly unusual for train riders to be curious about the lives being lived in the houses they pass, and just as likely for those on the ground to wonder about those passing by.

I used to go to college on the District line,” she said. “It goes very, very slowly and you can look into people’s houses. I did idly wonder about what you would do if you saw an act of violence or something suspicious. It’s quite normal, everyone is curious about other people’s lives.” – from an article in the Standard

This irregular Watson will not make anyone forget the investigative Doctor, let alone his illustrious partner, but Rachel feels compelled to find out whatever she can, using the knowledge she has gleaned from her daily observations. We expect our investigators these days to be a bit down on their luck, and to throw back maybe more than their share of amber liquid. But Rachel Watson doesn’t have a drinking problem, she has a drinking catastrophe. How is she to figure out whither the missing lady has gone, or perhaps who made her go missing, how is she to judge whether the lady’s anger-management-challenged husband, the other man she saw at her place, or someone else might be somehow involved, if her drinking causes her to have more blackouts than London during the blitz. The tale is told in staggered chronology, from three perspectives. Rachel’s, the missing person’s, and Anna’s, she being the woman with whom Rachel’s ex cheated while he was still with Rachel, and whom he subsequently married. Or she said, she said, and then she said. The timelines converge at the end. Most sections are divided into sub headings of morning, evening, afternoon, that sort. It makes for many short passages, good, appropriately, for reading on a train.

untitled.png

The pace of the tale is quick, clickety-clacking along without exceeding posted limits, advancing nicely to the big climax. Truthfulness comes in for some attention, as it seems everyone has something to hide. If you are looking for likeable characters, you might try the Hogwarts Express. The folks here tote enough baggage to merit their own cars. I suppose Rachel is sympathetic, but seems almost as much an agent of her misery as a victim. Making her pathetic and annoying was, I expect, a way to make her real, make her sympathetic, and that works, to a point.

Will Rachel find out what happened with the missing woman? Will her ex take out an order of protection against her, as she keeps calling and showing up at his place? Is the missing person merely missing? or worse? Can Rachel stay sober long enough to figure anything out? You might very well care. Clearly, judging by sales, many do. But, while I did, a little, I felt pushed away by this book. I felt cheated, as an actual audience member, as if riding on a disoriented express. I do understand that the unreliable narrator is simply a story-telling mechanism and that Rachel falls into the Madman classification within that, but when she changes her story about a significant piece of information the story went off the rails for me. So, while there is plenty to enjoy about The Girl on the Train, while there is plenty of tension-release-repeat, and while many readers are bound to be transported by the story, relating to or rooting for one or more characters at least some of the time, the one thing a reader demands from an author is honesty, and when trust is lost so is the benefit of the several hours we spend together. The locomotive was transformed, for me, into a hand-car trapped in a siding. It’s elementary.

Review posted – 7/10/15 Publication date – 1/13/15 Movie opens – 10/7/16

Book Review #162

15818362.jpg

Paperback, 410 pages

Published January 2nd 2013 by Harper (first published January 1st 2011)

Original Title: Into the Darkest Corner

ISBN: 0062197266

Into the Darkest Corner by Elizabeth Haynes is one of the most spine chilling and riveting novels I’ve read in a long time. The story centers on Catherine set in the past and the present 4 years apart. In the past Catherine is a fun-loving party person who lives in the moment. After going out to one pub she meets a handsome doorman called Lee who she falls for. Initially their relationship is very sexual and very casual but over time that changes. Catherine soon feels loved and valued by Lee but overtime the relationship becomes suffocating for her as he first mentally then physically changes her into the person she is 4 years later. lee goes to extraordinary lengths to control Catherine using his experience in the police to ensure this while convincing her friends that she is going funny, all of which together pushes her into the darkest corner.

Four years later and Lee is behind bars and Catherine in a new location is a shadow of her former self with her time with him having a terrible effect on her. Catherine in effect is trying to hide away suffering from ocd which shows itself with her constantly checking the locks in her flat the curtains and her front door. Apart from her work Catherine never goes out but despite this thing start to pick up for her after she meets Stuart a nice man upstairs from her. With Stuart’s help Catherine slowly works on overcoming her anxiety. This progress will be tested though when she is informed by phone of the worst news imaginable, something that has the ability to set her back and bring back the horrors of the not so distant past.

A word of warning right from the start this is not the sought of book for the sensitive or faint hearted. Right from the opening passage we are presented with a brutal murder of a women described is such detail the likes I’ve not read since Kill Me Once. But if you are not put of by that than you will be rewarded with what is a fabulous read. The book for one was for me the most real in terms of storyline and characters I’ve read. I just wanted to hug Catherine and be there for her and in truth didn’t even care for the plot which was equally first class with Lee being the perfect villain. Haynes did a brilliant job of building Lee up from what seems a charming loving man into what he really was, manipulative, controlling and violent. At no stage, did I find the story unbelievable and found myself constantly frightened for Catherine. While I new something was going to happen towards the end I was shocked on how it all panned out. At times, I almost felt I didn’t want to read it but I just couldn’t stop for what despite the violence and the physiological effects i found to be a beautiful read. If you have ever wondered why women in many cases cannot just walk away from a violent relationship, then Into the Darkest Corner will give you a great insight into answering that.