Thursday, November 27, 2014


Never judge a book by its cover, but how about a bookstore? Shouldn’t a repository of creativity boast a creative name of its own?

Sure, practicality has its place. But it can become… commonplace. There are stores out there—or least at last check in these volatile times, there were stores out there—named The Book Barn (Leavenworth, KS), Book Stop (Hood River, OR), Book Cove (Pawling, NY), Book Mine (Leadville, CO), Book Vine (Cherokee, IA), Book Parlor (Burns, OR), Book Vault (Oskaloosa, AL), Book Shelf (Winona, MN), Book Bin (Onley, VA), and Book Nook (Brenham, TX). Not to mention Bookin’ It (Little Falls, N) and Books to be Red (Ocracoke, NC) and Bookends (Ridgewood, NJ) and BookNest (Blairtown, NJ). Oh, and Books and Cookies (Santa Monica, CA).

Of course, you’ll also find references like Page One Bookstore (Albuequerque, NM), Turning Pages (Natchez, MS), The Next Page (Frisco, CO), and Back Pages Books (Waltham, MA). You’ll come across Chapter One (in both Ketchum, ID and Hamilton, MT), The Second Story (Laramie, WY), The Golden Notebook (Woodstock, NY) and Summer’s Stories (Kendallville, IN). There’s a Reader’s Loft (Green Way, WI), a Reader’s Corner (Louisville, KY) and a Literary Bookpost (Salisbury, NC). There’s a Country Bookseller in Wolfebore, NH. And a Country Bookshop in charming Southern Pines, NC. And a Country Bookshelf in Bozeman, MT.

If practicality or reading references aren’t the aim, proprietors of the published often hope to convey a certain charm, a sense of whimsy. Animal references are a common source, particularly for children’s bookstores. There’s a Nightbird Books (Denver, CO), Mockingbird Books (Seattle, WA), The Raven Book Store (Lawrence, NY), Toadstool Bookshop (Milford, NH), Turtle Town Books (Nisswa, MN), Beagle Books (Park Rapids, MN), even Pegasus Books (Oakland, CA). Colors, too, are popular—the more incongruous the better. Blue Willow Bookshop (Houston, TX). Blue Bicycle Books (Charleston, SC). Yellow Umbrella Books (Chatham, MA). White Birch Books (North Conway, NH).

Or you just combine the color and the creature: Blue Manatee (Cincinnati, OH)

Those are all fine establishments—and we at the Why Not 100 say support your local independent bookstore, whatever the name! But the following happen to be our 89 favorite names for indie outlets:

1. Crazy Wisdom (Ann Arbor, MI)
2. Tome on the Range (Las Vegas, NM)
3. Iconoclast Books (Ketchum, ID)
4. Women and Children First (Chicago, IL)
5. Present Tense (Batavia, NY)
6. Wild Rumpus (Minneapolis, MN)
7. The Elephant’s Trunk Children’s Bookshop (Lexington, MA)
8. Hooray for Books! (Alexandria, VA)
9. A Whale of  Tale Children’s Bookshoppe (Irvine, CA)
10. Monkey See, Monkey Do (Clarence, NY)

11. The Voracious Reader (Larchmont, NY)
12. Dragonwings Bookstore (Waupaca, WI)
13. WordsWorth Books (Little Rock, AR)
14. Between the Covers (Telluride, CO and Harbor Springs, MI)
15. Where the Sidewalk Ends Books (Chatham, MA)
16. Eight Cousins (Falmouth, MA)
17. Yellow Book Road (Point Loma, CA)
18. The Story Emporium (Pawtucket, RI)
19. The Briar Patch (Bangor, ME)
20. Jaberwocky Bookshop (Newburyport, MA)

21. Wit and Whimsy (Marblehead, MA)
22. Centuries and Sleuths (Forest Park, IL)
23. Page and Palette (Fairhope, AL)
24. Politics & Prose (Washington, D.C.)
25. Fact & Fiction (Missoula, MT)
26. Breathe Books (Baltimore, MD)
27. Tattered Cover Bookstore (Denver, CO)
28. Inquiring Minds (Saugerties, NY)
29. Greetings and Readings (Hunt Valley, MD)
30. Bunch of Grapes Bookstore (Vineyard Haven, MA)
31. CoffeeTree Books (Morehead, KY)
32. Paragraphs Bookstore (Mount Vernon, OH)
33. Novel Ideas (Baileys Harbor, WI)
34. LaDeDa Books & Beans (Manitowoc, WI)
35. Booklovers Gourmet (Webster, MA)
36. The Velveteen Rabbit (Fort Atkinson, WI)
37. Moby Dickens Bookshop (Taos, NM)
38. Storybook Cove (Hanover, MA)
39. Sustenance Books (Murphys, CA)
40. The Flying Pig Bookstore (Shelburne, VT)

41. Learned Owl Bookshop (Hudson, OH)
42. Pooh’s Corner (Grand Rapids, MI)
43. Off the Beaten Path (Steamboat Springs, CO)
44. Town Crier Bookstore (Emporia, KS)
45. Common Good Books (St. Paul, MN)
46. The Open Door Bookstore (Schenectady, NY)
47. Subterranean Books (St. Louis, MO)
48. Alphabet Soup (Seattle, WA)
49. Four-Eyed Frog Books (Gualala, CA)
50. Maloprop’s Bookstore (Asheville, NC)

51. The Twig Book Shop (San Antonio, TX)
52. The King’s English Bookshop (Salt Lake City, UT)
53. Big Blue Marble Bookstore (Philadelphia, PA)
54. Kids Ink (Indianapolis, IN)
55. Read Between the Lynes (Woodstock, IL)
56. A Room of One’s Own (Madison, WI)
57. Spellbound Children’s Bookshop (Asheville, NC)
58. Big Hat Books (Indianpolis, IN)
59. Rainy Day Books (Fairway, KS)
60. Humpus Bumpus Books (Cumming, GA)

61. Nonesuch Books (South Portland, ME)
62. The Hickory Stick Bookshop (Washington, CT)
63. The Frugal Frigate (Redlands, CA)
64. The Magic Tree Bookstore (Oak Park, IL)
65. Red Balloon Bookshop (St. Paul, MN)
66. The Honey Bee (Cincinnati, OH)
67. Duck’s Cottage (Duck, NC)
68. Other Tiger (Westerly, RI)
69. Reading Reptile (Kansas City, MO)
70. Oblong Books (Millerton, NY)

71. Inklings Bookshop (Yakima, WA)
72. Storyopolis (Studio City, CA)
73. Bramble Bookstore (Viroqua, WI)
74. The Muse Bookshop (Deland, FL)
75. Yawn’s Books (Canton, GA)
76. Gum Tree Bookstore (Tupelo, MS)
77. Covered Treasures Bookstore (Monument, CO)
78. Booky Joint (Mammoth Lakes, CA)
79. Hicklebee’s (San Jose, CA)
80. The Spotty Dog (Hudson, NY)
81. Percy’s Burrow (Auburn, ME)
82. Quarter Moon Books (Topsail Beach, NC)
83. Pomegranate Books (Wilmington, NC)
84. Mysterious Galaxy Books (Redondo Beach, CA)
85. Wind and Tide Bookshop (Oak Harbor, WA)
86. Full Circle Bookstore (Oklahoma City, OK)
87. Browseabout Books (Rehoboth Beach, DE)
88. Rediscovered Bookshop (Boise, ID)
89. Viva! Bookstore (San Antonio, TX)


  1. Thank you! Trying to decide on a name for my new children's book store.

    1. Gail, where's the new bookstore going to be?

    2. I have a book shop in Cape Town South Africa called Fortunate Finds

  2. Rhyme and Reason (a children's bookshop in Sheffield, UK)