I have always been an avid reader, though the 2020 quarantines really rejuvenated my hobby of reading for fun. Also during quarantine, I started looking for ways to continue supporting local businesses, so I started keeping track of indie bookstores to support. Independent bookstores are more than just shops; rather, they are places to build community. I enjoy attending author events at local bookstores or shopping for gifts by local artists or using it as a place to curl up for an afternoon with a good book. With that in mind, here are 10 of the best independent bookstores in North Carolina you should visit!
Top 10 Best Independent Bookstores in North Carolina
Battery Park Book Exchange and Champagne Bar – Asheville
Books and a champagne bar? Sign. Me. Up. Battery Park Book Exchange & Champagne Bar is a perfect place to grab a bite to eat with a crisp glass of Veuve and wander around the bookshelves. This used bookstore has such a great collection of books and is a great place to get lost in for a few hours. Plus, it is located in the beautiful Grove Arcade!
Located at 1 Page Ave #101, Asheville, NC 28801
Books and Beans – Rocky Mount
This artsy neighborhood coffeehouse & bookstore supplies espresso drinks, books, pastries & signature sandwiches. Books and Beans is located right in the Rocky Mount Mills and is a perfect spot for grabbing a cup of coffee and enjoying a good book for a bit before exploring the other businesses located in this vibrant spot.
Located at 1147 Falls Rd, Rocky Mount, NC 27804
Bookmarks – Winston-Salem
Bookmarks is much more than a bookstore. They got their start 15 years ago as a literary arts nonprofit organization, and all bookstore profits help support their community outreach initiatives, including Book with Purpose and Authors In Schools. There are so many events offered at Bookmarks making it definitely worth a stop on your next trip to Winston-Salem!
Located at 634 W 4th St #110, Winston-Salem, NC 27101
Books to Be Red – Ocracoke Island
Books to be Red began in 1995 as a collaboration between good friends and their passions for reading and pottery. 20 years later, Books to be Red still stands as Ocracoke’s only full-service independent bookstore with a wonderful variety of new, used, regional and children’s books. Take as much time as you need to browse the latest titles in fiction and non-fiction, brush up on your history, drool over mouth-watering cookbooks, or search for that rare literary gem.
Located at 34 School Rd, Ocracoke, NC 27960
McIntyre’s Books – Pittsboro
McIntyre’s Books has been a staple at Fearrington Village since 1989. This book store features a wide variety of staff picks, fantastic local events, an excellent selection of children’s books, and unique gift ideas. Plan on spending quite a bit of time browsing the handwritten notes from the staff on their picks and curling up in front of the fire for a quiet afternoon of reading.
Located at 220 Market St, Pittsboro, NC 27312
The Next Chapter Books & Art – New Bern
The Next Chapter Books and Art in New Bern is owned by Michelle Garren-Flye, a local author. Michelle hosts great local events in this used bookstore! Michelle specializes in featuring local authors as well. Be sure to stop here and browse on your next trip
Located at 320 S Front St, New Bern, NC 28560
Pomegranate Books – Wilmington
Pomegranate Books is an independent bookstore located in the historic Borkenhagen House in the Winter Park neighborhood of Wilmington North Carolina, where they have been finding good homes for great books since 2005. They stock a carefully selected collection of literary and life enhancing titles for all ages and feature locally made cards and gift items.
Located at 4418 Park Ave, Wilmington, NC 28403
Purple Crow Books – Hillsborough
Purple Crow Books is a literary meeting place right in historic downtown Hillsborough. Find new and used books, the latest works by local authors. Because they specialize in local writers, Purple Crow Books is a favorite tourist destination. It’s a great place to grab a signed copy of a book by your favorite local author. They also have a book club and can order any book that you may be interested in that isn’t in stock.
Located at 109 W King St, Hillsborough, NC 27278
Quail Ridge Books – Raleigh
Quail Ridge Books is an independent bookstore with a friendly, knowledgeable staff dedicated to providing the best in customer service. Founded in 1984 by Nancy Olson, the store provides a wide variety of carefully selected books, events, discussion groups and town hall meetings. Owner Lisa Poole bought the store in 2013 and is dedicated to keeping it local!
Located at 4209-100 Lassiter Mill Rd, Raleigh, NC 27609
Scuppernong Books – Greensboro
Scuppernong Books opened on December 21, 2013 and has been an essential part of the rebirth of downtown Greensboro ever since. They are a general interest/literary bookstore featuring fiction and poetry along with a remarkable children’s section and a broad range of general interest titles. Within the store is a cafe serving organic coffee and espresso, wine, and beer sourced primarily from local small businesses.They also partner with Jerusalem Market for sandwiches, salads and more substantial fare.
Located at 304 S Elm St, Greensboro, NC 27401
Photo by Glory Roze Photography