Are you in the state of Arkansas and looking for bookshops? In this post, we’ve shared a list of our favorite independent bookstores in Arkansas.
Under new ownership since 2017, WordsWorth Books is the largest independent bookstore in Little Rock, AR, since the early 1980s. While they offer an overwhelming number of books, they also provide a special order service if you don’t find what you’re looking for.
WordsWorth Books & Co has local and national author events, including book clubs and launch events for local authors who have published independently. WordsWorth Books & Co have so much to offer that you should contact them online if you have any questions or want to make suggestions.
Opened in 1988 by Archie and Garbo Hearne as an art gallery in Little Rock, AR, Pyramid has always been known for its selection of Black works. With the addition of books and music, Pyramid has become a mainstay of the Little Rock community, providing for a showcase of African American culture both nationally and locally. The genres of their book stock vary greatly, with everything from archeology to young adult titles.
Pyramid has always been known for its events, hosting literary readings and art exhibition from both local and national names. Contact them online to find out when their next event takes place.
Opened in 2018 by friends Sara Putman and Jennifer Battles, Bookish prides itself on being the only independent bookstore in Fort Smith with fresh, contemporary and controversial titles. Bookish’s two locations highlight different interests: head to the Brunwick Place location for local authors, secondhand books, or children’s books, or visit the Bakery location for local journals, magazines, articles, or new releases.
Bookish even has a book subscription service, that perfect gift for the book-lover you know or for yourself if you just like getting a new book each month. They also host a variety of events ranging from author meet-and-greets and book clubs, to the more eccentric like literary tea parties or wine-and-read nights. Contact them to find out how to visit.
If you travel to Van Buren, AR (a suburb of Fort Smith), you’ll find Chapters on Main. Opened in 2016 by Debbie and Alan Foliart, Chapters on Main contains over 200,000 books on all sorts of subjects: contemporary and classic titles, popular series and local authors, among many others.
Chapters on Main also boasts a café serving Mama Carmen’s coffee and tea, a local brand by Airship Coffee. 10% of every purchase of Mama Carmen’s goes back to Airship Coffee, which supports the families working Airship’s coffee farms in Guatemala. If you want to visit, have a question, or want to host an event at the shop, contact them online.
Dickson St. Bookshop has been a mainstay of the Fayetteville, AR community since 1978. Located in the Entertainment District, it houses over 100,000 new and secondhand books, including teen and children’s books. They’re even pet friendly!
Dickson St. Bookshop is so well known that they were even featured in a Buzzfeed article called “17 Bookstores That Will Literally Change Your Life” and as the best Arkansas bookstore in the Mental Floss video “The Best Bookstore in All 50 States.” Stop by to see what all the fuss is about or, if you can’t do that, check out their online gallery. Check them out on Instagram or contact them via their webpage.
Early in 2021, Fayetteville locals Leah and Daniel Jordan opened Pearl’s Books in the downtown square. Pearl’s Books provides a range of books on almost any topic, ranging from self-care to those on the national bestsellers’ lists to in-house fiction and nonfiction recommendations. You can order online for delivery or even better, drop by in person to check out their brand new shop.
Pearl’s Books provides space for local events and a variety of book clubs. You can even host your own book club at Pearl’s and get a 10% discount on any texts sold by them for your book club’s reading. They even offer a space for local authors and artists to market their self-published books and work through Pearl’s. Contact them for more information!
When Once Upon a Time bookstore opened in 1999, it was an online-only bookshop. However, their stock grew so exponentially that they eventually built two retail locations in Tontitown, AR, and Bentonville, AR. The inventories for all three are completely different, so if you don’t find something at one place, then you should definitely check out one of the other two avenues.
Once Upon a Time prides itself on curating a selection of first editions and signed classic works. You can also purchase branded merchandise, or even sell or trade your own used books while you’re there. Have questions? Contact them using email or by phone.
Located in Russellville, AR (home of Arkansas Tech), Dog Ear Books was opened by mother-daughter team Pat and Emily Young in 2016. Dog Ear Books sells not only new and used books but also branded gifts and stuffed animals for children. While they sell used books, they don’t currently buy or trade them.
Next door to Dog Ear Books is their coffee shop, Retro Roasts. You can order your drink online for pickup or even subscribe to their weekly coffee service, delivered straight to your door! Contact them at the bottom of their main webpage for more information.
If you are looking for that classic ‘bookstore’ feel with well-worn chairs and that ‘old book’ aroma, then look no further than It’s a Mystery. Located in Berryville, AR, about an hour south of the Missouri-Arkansas border, It’s a Mystery contains over 20,000 new and gently used books on almost every topic imaginable.
The unique element of It’s a Mystery is, as owner Melinda Large calls it, the ‘treasure hunt’ aspect. There is no rhyme or reason to how the books are shelved in It’s a Mystery, but that’s part of the fun. You are literally discovering your next literary treasure at It’s a Mystery. Contact them via Facebook for more information.
If you find yourself in the northeast corner of Arkansas, just on the Tennessee border, stop into Blytheville Book Company. Reopened in 2019 by Erin Carrington, Blytheville Book Company fills the void left by the closing in 2012 of the then-famous That Bookstore, known for book signings of Bill and Hillary Clinton and John Grisham.
With the addition of a café serving coffee, tea, and wine, Blytheville Book Company offers classic and contemporary titles, children’s books, and even a selection of vinyl records. You can even purchase eBooks through them. Blytheville Book Company hosts a variety of book-themed events, found mostly on their social media pages. Contact them if you have suggestions or questions.