I was so excited that Red was named an Indie Next Pick for January/February 2024 in large part because I love indie bookstores. Growing up, we didn’t live close to many independent bookstores and now that I’m in the Greater Boston area, I’m so fortunate to have so many good choices nearby.
To celebrate being on the Kids Indie Next List, here are some of my favorite indie bookstores.
- Brookline Booksmith was my local bookstore when I lived around Coolidge Corner and I’d move back in a heartbeat if only for this store. Not only do they have rows of books, great recommendations, and gifts, but they also have a used section downstairs. The best of both worlds!
- Across the river in Cambridge is Porter Square Books, which similar has fantastic stock and always has excellent staff recommendations. They also have a great coffee bar in the store, which means you can buy a book and a coffee and read at the counter and have the best time ever.
- The first bookstore I found when I moved to Boston was Trident Booksellers and it’s been a favorite ever since. With a full cafe inside, you can browse the stacks while you wait for your table at brunch.
- When I think about Wellesley Books, I think about the fantastic events they’ve organized over the years. Even though they were farther away for me for a while, I would make the trip to see authors like Shannon Hale, Suzanne Collins, and John and Hank Green. (Bonus: there’s the reason my dear friend/writing group member Allison and I reconnected after meeting as teens in a summer writing program!)
- A new addition to the Boston area is All She Wrote Books, an intersectional, inclusive feminist and queer bookstore that supports, celebrates, and amplifies underrepresented voices. Their staff recommendations are stellar and they highlight local authors.
- Just south of Boston, Buttonwood Books in Cohasset and the Blue Bunny Bookstore are bright spot for readers with fantastic children’s sections.
- Even farther south, in Rhode Island, are Barrington Books, which has been an indie favorite in the area since the 1980s. More recently, co-op bookstore Heartleaf Books opened in Providence and I can attest to the fact that the store t-shirts are super comfy.
- Way out of the Boston area, Women & Children First in Chicago has been a favorite since Walt lived in Andersonville and I’d visit him. They have a great selection and have been an inclusive space in the Chicago area since 1979.
Big thanks to the American Booksellers Association for including Red as an indie pick. Check out these great indies if you’re in the area and share your favorite indie bookstores in the comments!