Powell’s might as well have its own zip code. The largest independent bookstore in the world, Powell’s City of Books is home to more than 1 million new, used and rare tomes. Indeed, it's easy to get lost here among the 68,000 square feet of store, spread across nine rooms, three floors and roughly 3,500 sections—bookworms can find plenty to do and take home in this labyrinthine store. A total of 1.6-acres of retail space means a section, postcard or gift for every book lover.
Every great city has a great bookstore. That’s just a fact of life. Because even as we navigate a digital world, there is something sacred and comforting about wandering the aisle of an independent bookshop.
The best bookstores in America are cultural landmarks and vibrant hubs of intellectual exploration. Our list includes those in major cities like The Strand, a historic New York City haven with miles of books, to City Lights Booksellers in San Francisco, hub of beatnik culture, and others spread throughout small and mid-size cities across the country. No matter its location, each bookstore has a distinct personality, shaped by its history and supported by its community.