If you want to buy some good books to read, below we’ve featured 10 of the best independent bookstores in Louisiana.
Voted the best independent bookstores in New Orleans, LA in 2020, Octavia Books has something for everyone. Located in Uptown New Orleans, Octavia prides itself on its large collection of local authors and artists. It even publishes its own independent newspaper called The Octavian.
Octavia Books also hosts a variety of events like author book signings, reading groups and book clubs. But get there early if you want to join; events at Octavia are often sold out and packed events. Contact them to find out what next exciting thing is on offer.
If you don’t want to venture too far from the French Quarter, check out Beckham’s Bookshop on Decatur. A family-owned bookstore opened in 1979, Beckham’s Bookshop sits within a block of popular French Quarter attractions such as Jackson Square and Café du Monde.
Along with their sister-bookstore, Libraire (around the corner on Chartes St), Beckham’s boasts 60,000+ used books on all sorts of topics; however, there is special attention given to books on history, architecture, literature, music, and cooking. The best part is that the shop is dog friendly! You can contact them via their website, by phone, or by email.
Another New Orleans mainstay is the Garden District Bookshop. Located inside The Rink (a 19-century skating rink turned strip mall), Garden District Bookshop started over 40 years ago as Maple Street Book Shop before moving into the Rink shortly after opening.
While Garden District Bookshop has always carried a large variety of new and used titles, including regional writers, fiction, and nonfiction, as of 2021, the store’s new owners—Christopher Tidmore, Barkley Rafferty, and Carroll Gelderman—have added a children’s area and a rare/antiquated collection. They are also looking to add a café or bistro next door.
Garden District has monthly book club on the first Wednesday of every month. There’s even a 20% discount if you purchase that month’s book in shop. Other events include live author talks and book signings, as well as children’s book readings. Create an account to browse the shop’s inventory or request a specific book or contact them via the information on the right side of their main webpage.
Want to visit a literary tourist destination at the same time as shopping for that new book to read? Visit Faulkner House Books in the French Quarter of New Orleans, LA. Founded in 1988 by James and Rosemary DeSalvo and housed in a 19th-century home William Faulkner once resided within, Faulkner House Books caters towards collections of local and regional interest, as well as more well-known fiction and nonfiction texts.
While there is no online store to shop from, you can sign up for a personalized book subscription service to have books selected based on your interests and shipped to the comfort of your own home.
Opened by Tere and James Hyfield, Red Stick Reads started in 2019 as a pop-up book shop but has only been in its permanent building since the start of 2021. Now marketed as a “boutique-style book shop,” Red Stick Reads specializes in mainly children’s books with some adult and young adult titles available.
You can shop online or, even better, stop by the store to see what is in stock that they don’t have on the shelves. There is also a large collection of puzzles and book-related merchandise you can purchase online or in store. You can contact them via their Instagram or stopping into the store.
If you go just outside of Baton Rouge to Denham Springs, LA, you can find Cavalier House Books, opened in 2009 by John and Michelle Cavalier. They carry books on everything from local and regional interest titles to popular adult, children, and young adult fiction and nonfiction.
Opened since 2006, the Thrifty Peanut is the largest family-owned and operated independent bookstore in Shreveport, LA. Marketing themselves more as a “book and media warehouse,” the Thrifty Peanut buys and trades in everything from books to CDs, video games to DVDs, and even vinyl records and cassette tapes. You can’t trade or buy online but you can go into the store with whatever books or media you want to offload and get a decent quote.
Military personnel are especially welcome at The Thrifty Peanut, as they offer a daily 10% discount and 50% discounts on Veteran’s and Memorial Days. Have any questions about what they have in store or what they are willing to trade, contact them by phone or their contact form.
An entirely female-owned and -run shop opened in 2008, Blue Cypress Books is special as one of the only truly independent bookshops in Metairie, LA. Not just a bookseller, Blue Cypress Books also buys and trades used books either in-store or online.
Not content with just what locals can sell or trade, Blue Cypress Books has a large collection of all types of genres, from children’s books to educational texts to science fiction (old and new). You can shop online or in store.
If you find yourself in or near Lafayette, LA, then check out Alexander Books. Opened in 1989, Alexander Books prides itself on being a bookstore by the community and for the community. You can browse their online collection and order books for local pickup or delivery, or simply stop in to check out the variety of titles they have in stock.
They also host all sorts of events at the bookshop, including book readings, concerts, and anything in between. You can even request to host your own event at the shop by completing an online form located on their events page. Keep up with them on their social media or contact them by phone or email.
10. Beausoleil Books
Another great independent bookshop in Lafayette, LA is Beausoleil Books, opened in October of 2020. This new addition to the Lafayette book scene boasts a large collection of books, articles, and other written texts related specifically to the Lafayette community, as well as the more popular titles. Visit the Whisper Room next door, opened even more recently (April 2021), an upscale wine and cheese restaurant that will add a more decadent feeling to your book browsing experience.
Beausoleil also hosts events and book signings, as well as a ‘Book of the Month’ club. You can even book your own event in either the bookstore or The Whisper Room. Contact them to find out more about what’s on offer at Beausoleil Books.