The unique character of New Orleans stretches into the city’s bookstores. These independent bookstores give readers the chance to learn about the stories of the 504 and stories of others around the world.
Arcadian Books & Prints
Arcadian Books & Prints gives a look inside the reader’s mind with stacks of books almost touching the ceiling to form a sort of maze within the store. This bookstore offers a plethora of French and international language publications. Arcadian Books & Prints is a hub for readers who are looking to learn more about the city’s French history and culture.
Pet lovers and those who love to shop second-hand will find a home at Beckham’s Bookshop. Since 1967, Beckham’s has been providing a variety of used and new books, CDs and vintage vinyl. Within the thousands of stories within Beckham’s BookShop, visitors can find topics about architecture, philosophy, cooking and local history and culture along with many other topics.
Faulkner House Books
New Orleans was once home to Nobel Prize winner William Faulkner. Faulkner wrote his first novel Soldiers’ Pay in this home. Nestled behind St. Louis Cathedral, Faulkner House Books provides a community for those interested in Southern literature and poetry. Readers can find a plethora of rare editions and fine literature in this bookstore that’s only two rooms. The coronavirus pandemic changed the landscape of sharing stories for Faulkner House Books as they started a book subscription service to keep the business afloat.
Crescent City Books
Looking for rare books? How about maps or prints? Look no further than Crescent City Books. This two-story bookstore has been sharing stories with the New Orleans community since 1992. Crescent City Books specializes in antique and rare books along with prints from the last 500 years. The store holds bins of old maps and prints as well as new local history books. The in-house cat manager, Wesley, also helps to attract the book lovers who are also feline fans.
Dauphine Street Books
Dauphine Street Books holds onto the old and the new. Opening as a bookstore in 1994, the Dauphine Street location always had a unique history as the store used to house a barbershop, bicycle store and brothel at one point. Inside, readers can find books of every variety – new and used, local history and fiction and cookbooks or books about the arts. The shop also offers a selection of antique books. The store was recently moved from its 410 Dauphine St. location to 818 Chartres St. in September of 2021.
Blue Cypress Books
Since 2008, Blue Cypress Books has given readers a place to find affordable high-quality used and new books. This woman-owned bookstore focuses on modern literature, New Orleans writers, foreign language, children’s and young adult titles and science fiction along with many other topics. Blue Cypress gives visitors the options to trade and buy secondhand books with a few guidelines. The bookstore resident cat provides readers great company when making a new book purchase.
When the bookstore opened in 2000, Octavia Books made it their mission to make local bookstores an essential part of the uptown and greater New Orleans community. Octavia sells readers favorite new releases along with children’s books and classics. The store hosts two book clubs, Octavia Books Book Club and the Octavia Books Science Fiction Book Club and also publishes a bi-monthly newsletter giving a preview of incoming novels and recommendations for a variety of genres and age groups.
Garden District Book Shop
Have you ever seen a bookstore in a rollerskating rink? Garden District Book Shop is located in this prime spot, named the Rink, surrounded by dozens of local shops and offices. The space was originally built as a roller-skating rink in 1884. The store provides readers with an array of regional new and old titles as well as signed first editions and limited editions. The shop’s inventory ranges from books about design to gardening books along with fiction and nonfiction selections. Garden District Book shop also hosts a book club on the second Wednesday of every month in the store.
Baldwin & Co.
Education is at the forefront of Baldwin & Co.’s mission. Named after acclaimed writer and activist James Baldwin, the Black-owned bookstore and coffeehouse holds books about history, travel, fiction, art and children’s literature. Baldwin & Co. hosts Youth Summer Programs to encourage reading for all ages of the New Orleans community. The store also provides the community with a podcasting studio that is rented out by appointment.
Frenchmen Art and Books
Frenchmen Art and Books is a hub for all things books and art. Located along the music scene of Frenchmen street, the store’s late-night hours allow for visitors to browse the store with a drink in hand. The store’s collection of books is accompanied by a curated art collection with local artwork for sale.
Tubby & Coo’s Mid-City Book Shop
Tubby & Coo wants to be a community center for anyone who doesn’t feel supported elsewhere. This queer-owned business has a bigger focus on social justice and the empowerment of every community that feels underrepresented. Tubby & Coo provides a selection focused on science fiction and fantasy, queer, and diverse books. The shop is named after the owner’s grandparents, Tubby & Coo, who grew up in the same neighborhood where the shop is located.
Community Book Center
Community Book Center was founded in 1983 to be a cultural hub for the city of New Orleans. The center specializes in African-American literature and African-centered art, fabric and jewelry. As the oldest Black-owned bookstore in the city, CBC serves as a gathering place for the Seventh ward community and organizers who seek to address educational and social justice issues.