I welcome recommendations to add to this post.
Independent bookstores are the best! Here are some of my favorites. I invite you to contribute your own.
My local favorite: The Open Book Bookstore, a small independent bookstore in Elkins Park, PA, is a gem. It’s everything a book store should be—and more. Though the book selection is limited, the collection is top notch and prominently features local authors. There’s also a book club, a writer’s workshop, a writer’s retreat, preschool storytime, and author readings. Or you could just stop in, browse, and schmooze with the owner, Lynn Rosen, who can tell you about every book in the store. Then, stroll across the street to the Creekside Coop, a cooperative member-owned food market, or the Elkins Perk coffee shop.
The Northshire Bookstore is a large, lively bookstore in Manchester, VT. It’s so much fun to browse, and I dare you to leave without purchasing at least one book.
The Toadstool Bookstore(s) in New Hampshire. I’ve spent lots of time browsing (and buying) in their Peterboro, NH, store, but they also have locations in Keene and Milford. The Milford location features a café that offers all-day breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Books and food—the perfect combination.