In this post, we’ve featured 10 top independent bookstores in Wisconsin. Read on to learn about them.
Opened in March 2009 by experienced bookseller Daniel Goldin, Boswell Book Company has become a well-known and highly popular independent bookstore in the heart of Milwaukee, WA. Rather than rely on popular ‘best-sellers’ lists, Boswell’s have created their own ‘bestseller’s list’ (with discounts!). They even buy selected used books, should you wish to offload some for store credit.
Boswell Books Company hosts exciting author events with authors all over the world, as well as many different book clubs hosted there, catering to nearly every reading taste. You can even buy items featuring the Boswell Book Company name and logo (should you want to show off your visit). Any questions? Contact them via the information found on their main webpage.
In 1985, Linda Burg opened Little Read Book in Wauwatosa, a small suburb of Milwaukee, WA. As one of the first independent bookstores to sell more than just books, The Little Read Book has become well known for its eclectic mix of merchandise (including llama manure)!
Apart from the merchandise, Little Read Book has a list of staff recommendations with a 20% discount for the purchase of any book from that recommendation list. There is even a monthly book club held at Little Read Book every 2nd Wednesday at 6:30. If you can’t find a book, feel free to email or phone them to special order it and ship directly to your home! Contact them via the information found on their main webpage.
Located in Madison, WA, A Room of One’s Own has been a mainstay of the community since 1975. It is one of the few feminist bookstores in the area, with an impressive collection of multi-cultural, women’s studies, and LGBTQ fiction and nonfiction texts. You can shop in-store or online, with home delivery via USPS. They even have a book subscription service that delivers new releases to your home each month.
Events such as author readings and meet-and-greets are held nearly every week, and you can keep up with them by signing up for the newsletter. If you have any questions, contact them via the information on their main webpage or drop into their new east side location!
Originally a mystery-themed bookstore called Booked for Murder, Mystery to Me (in Madison, WA) was bought in in 2013 by Joanne Berg and reopened as a more generalized bookstore. They still cater to the mystery genre but now also contain titles from literary fiction, science fiction, young adult and children’s genres.
Like many independent bookstores, Mystery to Me can do special orders with a quite quick turnaround (2-3 days). They also host events such as author visits and book clubs. You can even take a virtual tour of the shop before you visit! If you have any questions or want to host an event at Mystery to Me, contact them via their webpage.
Amy Mazzariello opened Lion’s Mouth Bookstore in downtown Green Bay, WA, in November 2019 after the closure of another, well known independent bookstore. Not only does Lion’s Mouth have a variety of popular fiction and nonfiction titles available, but they also purchase used books in exchange for store credit. You can even order out-of-print books through Lion’s Mouth (with enough advance notice).
If you’re an educator, don’t forget your teacher ID! Educators get a 20% discount for anything purchased for use in the classroom. Lion’s Mouth Bookstore also hosts a variety of events, such as book launches, author signings and monthly book clubs. Want to know more? Contact them via their webpage.
You may have driven past The Attic Books & Coffee in Green Bay, WA, without realizing it’s an independent bookshop! Opened in 2007, The Attic Books & Coffee specializes in espressos, teas, and a large selection of good-condition secondhand books. While they accept most genres of printed books, they do prefer the books be hardback copies with very little wear-and-tear.
The coffee, loose-leaf teas, and fair trade spices sold in the accompanying cafes are of the highest quality, so chosen to curate that special Bohemian feel. They even offer coffee, loose-leaf tea, and book related merchandise for purchase. You can stop in store or contact them online. So, if you want to browse while having an espresso, check out The Attic Books & Coffee!
Located in Appleton, WA, The Book Store has been proudly independently run since 1977. With over 80,000 new and used books, The Book Store has something for everyone. You can stop by in-store or conveniently search their stock to find the perfect book to order and have shipped to your home. Unique to this shop is their rental service of hardbacks fiction titles at reasonable prices.
The Book Store sells works by local artists and authors alongside the other merchandise they have on offer. You can contact them for any questions about particular titles or if you want them to order something special for you.
Blue House Books began as a popup bookshop in 2017 but finally put down roots in downtown Kenosha, WA, in September of 2020. As the only independent bookstore in the area with full ordering and shipping services, Blue House Books aims to make it your home-away-from-home. You can browse and order online but if you stop in, you’ll be able to chat with the very knowledgeable staff and get their recommendations of what books you should be reading.
Blue House Books also hosts a variety of events such as author signings, a monthly book club, and a weekly children’s story hour. You can read what the staff are reading by visiting the blog or contacting them online.
If you find yourself near Ottawa Forest, check out Redberry Books in Cable, WA. Redberry Books moved from Reedsburg, WA, to Cable in 2015, when the original bookstore was purchased by longtime patrons Maureen and Brad Palmer. While Redberry Books carries mostly children, teens, and adults, they also sell the more generalized fiction and nonfiction for adults. You can search in their brand new, bigger and better store or order online.
Redberry Books usually hosts an event every week, with at least seven of those events being from the various book clubs run through the shop. They even have a book subscription service for children called grandreads, which will send a book a month to the child of your choice, based on the interests of the child. Any questions or want to join or host a book club? Contact them via email or telephone.
10. Arcadia Books
If you find yourself near the Illinois border, check out Arcadia Books in Spring Green, WA. Opened in 2011, Arcadia Books has an impressive collection of titles from nearly every genre imaginable, which you can browse online. If stop in to browse their collection, you can also grab a drink and a bite to eat at the attached café, The Paper Crane Coffeehouse.
Book clubs and author events also happen at Arcadia Books, as well as events catered towards children and young adults. Sign up for their newsletter to stay up to date on what’s happening or what’s new, or contact them for special orders or to host your own event.