Despite what the internet might say, print isn't dead! Spend a whole day getting lost in one of America's coziest, quaintest bookstores-- nothing beats the experience of leisurely browsing through shelves of paperbacks as you sip a coffee and soak in all the literary potential. Take that, e-readers!
This DC establishment is known for the many speakers they host (usually for free!), for their massive selection of books, and for the awesome cafe in the basement-- but don't even think about ordering your drink to go; you'll be too absorbed in the wares and their atmosphere.
If you're looking for a copy of The Great Gatsby, you probably won't find it at Quimby's. If, however, you happen to be looking for Star Trek trading cards, a graffiti art coloring book, or a zine dedicated to scabs, this hardcore indie bookstore has got you covered.
Once you pick out a book from the store, located inside an old 1800's grist mill, grab a treat at the cafe and head to the outdoor seating area, where the magic really happens. There's nothing better than getting lost in a new book while listening to a babbling brook. You can even have dinner at the restaurant and literally make it an all-day affair.
You could stop by The Strand, but you might find yourself overwhelmed. Instead, virtually travel the world without leaving this Manhattan bookstore-- they organize their selections by country. Grab one of the billions of magazines they sell and take it upstairs to enjoy with a coffee and a scone! They're even open on weekend nights, so if your dream Saturday night involves tea and a new paperback, you're in luck.
You could spend a whole day browsing the posters, comic books, old school zines, knick knacks, and sci-fi/fantasy/monster lit and still not see it all... and that's not even taking into account their indie records and DVDs. If you want a better idea of the kind of place this is, the fact that John Waters is a fan should tell you everything you need to know. They've also opened a bar!
Reading is awesome, but reading for a cause is even better! All the employees are volunteers, and all proceeds from the store go to help prevent HIV/AIDS. They have happy hours at their cafe and lots of author events, trivia nights and more. Plus, it's a great place to meet other charitable literature lovers!
This Asheville bookseller has a cozy cafe, but it's really all about the books here. If you're feeling bold, grab something from the banned books section; if you're feeling lost in a sea of stories, check out their extensive staff picks shelves; or, if you're feeling adventurous, grab one of their mysterious grab bag books-- each is wrapped in brown paper that's covered with adjectives describing the book inside.
Okay, this might be a book store for children, but you don't have to be a kid to appreciate it. They've decorated with giant versions of your favorite storybook characters and they have a children's playplace, a theater for performances, and a cupcake shop up front. And did I mention the bookshelves stuffed with every kids book known to man?