Looking for books that are rare, limited, or difficult to find? You should go to your near bookstores. Below we’ve featured 10 top independent bookstores in Missouri.
1. Prospero’s Books (Kansas City)
Prospero’s Books first opened their doors in 1997 in Kansas City, MO. Their store is spread over three levels, and contains a great selection of books for readers of all ages and interests. In fact, they have over 50,000 books (plus vinyl records, films, and CDs), conveniently arranged into 70 different categories.
Prospero’s Books also buys books, so if your collection is getting out of hand you can always see what they will offer you (either cash or store credit). Upstairs, they also host a great range of community events – there’s always something fun going on! To learn more, contact the team at Prospero’s Books.
2. Left Bank Books (St. Louis)
Left Bank Books was formed in 1969, making it the oldest independent bookstore in St. Louis, MO, and also the largest. They offer a great selection of new and used books, as well as cards, gifts, toys, and more. Left Bank Books is located in the Central West End neighborhood, and easily accessed by public transit.
Open seven days a week, Left Bank Books has a great range of bestsellers, signed books, audiobooks, and new releases. They also host a huge selection of community events, including book clubs, readings, and more. Contact Left Bank Books to learn more about their inventory, store, and community programs.
3. Pagination Bookshop (Springfield)
Pagination Bookshop is located in Springfield, MO, and features an amazing range of new and used books and gifts. They are open six days a week (closed Mondays) and their catalog can also be browsed online. Books can be picked up at the store or shipped anywhere across the United States. Giftwrapping services are also available.
Many of the books at Pagination Bookshop are rare, limited, or difficult to find in other stores. This bookshop specializes in giving new, diverse writers a voice, and also supports local photographers, artists, and other groups. Contact Pagination Bookshop for more details.
4. Rainy Day Books (Kansas City)
Since 1975, Rainy Day Books has been an independent bookseller located in Kansas City, MO. Open Monday through Friday from 10:00 am until 4:00 pm, and Saturdays from 10:00 am until 2:00 pm (closed Sundays), this full-service bookstore features new books for both adults and kids.
As well as their great selection of titles, Rainy Day Books also hosts more than 300 events annually. If you’re browsing their store, the helpful team at Rainy Day Books can assist you in finding your next read. They can also order books if you’re looking for something that isn’t in stock. Contact Rainy Day Books for more information.
5. Subterranean Books (St. Louis)
Located in St. Louis, MO, Subterranean Books has recently moved to a new and improved venue that can better house their large inventory of literature. First founded in 2000, this independent, woman-owned bookstore focuses on both fiction and non-fiction titles, including poetry, music, nature, science, and more.
Each of the employees at Subterranean Books are able to influence the books that the store orders, so there’s always a diverse, carefully curated selection with something to please everyone. The bookstore is open from 11:00 am until 7:00 pm, seven days a week. Contact Subterranean Books for more details.
6. Columbia Books (Columbia)
Columbia Books first opened their doors in 1977. Their store in Columbia, MO, features a diverse selection of books (over 35,000 in total). Some are new releases, others are antique titles older than 400 years. They have books relating to Missouri history, as well as a great selection of fiction titles. Their children’s book collection is also extensive.
As well as their amazing book collection, Columbia Books also features a great range of artwork and prints. Browse their collection online or visit their store for the authentic experience. Contact Columbia Books with any questions.
7. Afterword Tavern and Shelves (Kansas City)
Afterword Tavern and Shelves is a bookstore with a difference – they also serve drinks! Based in Kansas City, MO, this unique and enterprising bookstore serves wine, beer, cocktails, and also has a great selection of food. Whether you’re looking for a tasty beverage or your next read, they have you covered.
While they don’t have the largest selection of books, they are happy to order other titles in for you. They also offer delivery across the United States. What’s more, their venue is the perfect place to socialize – they host numerous book clubs and literary-related events – contact the team at Afterword Tavern and Shelves if you’re interested in attending or hosting an event.
8. The Novel Neighbor (St. Louis)
The Novel Neighbor is a lovely independent bookstore that specializes in promoting local authors and artists. Located in the St. Louis, MO, suburb of Webster Groves, The Novel Neighbor has a great selection of new books for both children and adults. What’s more, they host book clubs, author events, parties, kids’ events, and more.
If you’re looking for a book that isn’t in their store, the team at The Novel Neighbor will happily place an order for you. Open seven days a week, the space at The Novel Neighbor is available for rent – if you’re planning a book club or other private event, contact their team to discuss rental options.
9. Hooked On Books (Springfield)
Hooked on Books is open seven days a week, from 9:30 am until 6:30 pm Monday through Saturday, and 1:00 pm until 5:00 pm on Sundays. This used bookstore first opened their doors in Springfield, MO, in 1986, and have grown their inventory to over 100,000 books.
As well as selling used books, the team at Hooked On Books is always looking to buy and trade books – bring in your collection and discuss your options with their staff. Hooked On Books has a great selection of both fiction and non-fiction, as well as children’s books, educational titles, and more. Contact Hooked On Books for more details.
10. Wise Blood Booksellers (Kansas City)
Wise Blood Booksellers in Kansas City, MO, is an independent bookstore that only recently opened in 2019. They stock everything from children’s books to creative non-fiction, as well as history books, political books, fiction titles, and more.
As well as their great range of titles, Wise Blood Booksellers also hosts reading groups – visit their website to learn more and see the books that are currently up for discussion. They also host a great range of events, including author conversations, book releases, and more. Contact Wise Blood Booksellers for more details.