The convenience offered by bookstores like Borders and Barnes & Noble in the Atlanta area is unrivaled. But every true book lover knows that independent bookstores are the places where you’re most likely to find variety, rare books, and great deals. Moreover, independent bookstores are brimming over with creative inspiration. While the big box bookstores typically stock the same books from location to location, independent bookstores offer a huge variety, and you’re likely to find books you didn’t even know existed, about topics you’ve never heard of. Fortunately for those living in Atlanta, the Atlanta area is home to some of the best independent, used, and rare book stores in the country. Here are the best of the best:
Decatur is home to some of the most eclectic, unique businesses in the Atlanta area, and the used and rare books offered by Books Again near the Decatur Square are no exception. The store itself is huge, with rows and rows of books spanning centuries. Books Again specializes in rare and out of print books, so if you’re looking for a signed copy of a book from your favorite author, this is the first place to look. The resident cat is likely to escort you through the store and beg for attention. If you love animals, this is the perfect place for you, but beware of this independent bookstore if you have cat allergies!
Charis: Your Independent Feminist Bookstore
Charis is a true Atlanta celebrity and an historical landmark. They’re one of the few feminist bookstores left in the country, and the oldest independent feminist bookstore in the southeast. Not only can you find a wealth of information about politics, women’s history, and feminist parenting; their children’s section is truly astounding in its breadth and depth and the gift section of charis stocks items like ecofriendly menstrual products and other must haves. Perhaps best of all, Charis is host to a slew of Atlanta events throughout the year, and brings in bona fide feminist celebrities like bell hooks, Gloria Steinem, Angela Y. Davis, etc. Check out Charis and be a part of Atlanta history.
Atlanta Book Exchange
591 N Highland Avenue Northeast, Atlanta, GA 30307-1438
Their lack of a website and nonexistent marketing should indicate to most that The Atlanta Book Exchange is a very old school used and rare book store. One of the best independent bookstores in the country, a person could truly get lost inside. They have a warehouse where they stock overflow, so their inventory is constantly rotating, and it’s easy to find everything from contemporary books to ancient classics. Be prepared to spend several hours here; they don’t have the capacity to look up inventory, but the search for an amazing book at this independent bookstore gem in Atlanta will likely lead you to turn up ten other books you want to read!