Prairie Lights Books

15 S Dubuque St, Iowa City, Iowa 52240 USA

80 Reviews
$$
$$$$
Reasonable
Closed Now
Opens Sat 9a
  • Independent
  • Credit Cards
    Accepted
  • Wheelchair
    Accessible
  • Wifi
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“Top Bookstore in America!”

Prairie Lights Cafe is part of the legendary independent bookstore Prairie Lights, which has been an Iowa City landmark since 1978. The cafe proper is an 1100 square foot space, with an intriguing history. A local literary society met within the same walls throughout the 1930's, hosting writers Robert Frost, Sherwood Anderson, Langston Hughes, Carl Sandburg, and ee Cummings among others. Reportedly, Gertrude Stein and Alice Toklas were scheduled for a reading but were sleeted-in at the Waukesha airport - or so the story goes. Part café, part exhibition venue - The cafe is an alternative space in truest sense of the word. Under the direction of artist/curator Mary Coats, the cafe will host exhibitions, performances, screenings, artist talks, panel discussions, readings, and many as-yet-to be determined events. The café proudly serves Stumptown Coffee, small plates courtesy of The Motley Cow, Deluxe Pastries, as well as a premium selection of wines, beers, and The Houndstooth. Hour Glass Wine and Beer Specials Daily.

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Photo of Shirley P.

Reviewed by
Shirley P.

My partner wanted to check out this bookstore that was near Teamo Tea, and we decided to pop in. We didn't know that they were about to close -- places close early in this area. We ended up... Read more

Photo of Amy L.

Reviewed by
Amy L.

Love, love, love the classics they have, though they could curate them better; this shop is really more about newly published and locally published books though. Wish they'd have someone who... Read more

Photo of Jessica B.

Reviewed by
Jessica B.

This is one of my favorite spots downtown to spend an hour or so. I love wandering the stacks with no real inspiration or intent on what I will purchase. I have never left empty handed and every... Read more

Prairie Lights Books

15 S Dubuque St
Iowa City, Iowa
52240 USA

Hours

Closed Now
  • Mon - Sat: 9:00 am - 9:00 pm

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  • Parking
  • Pets Allowed
  • Restrooms
  • Wifi
  • Wheelchair Accessible
  • Credit Cards Accepted
  • Outdoor Seating
See More Details (13)

Parking, Dining

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