Alternative and Independent Bookstores

Alternative and independent bookstores

This page lists a selection of alternative booksellers and infoshops across the US, Canada, Australia and elsewhere. Booksellers include fiction, non-fiction, comic, zine, art and technical retailers. This page is still in its infancy, and there will be much more here soon. All contributions welcome! LAST UPDATED 6/25/06


Directory of feminist bookstores

Independent Online Booksellers Association

Guide to independent bookstores in the US

Fearless Independents

Mid-South IBA

New Atlantic IBA

Don't want to buy? Try finding a book at your local library with WorldCat

Out-of-print and second-hand and independent collective booksellers





United States (Only states with entries listed)
[ California | Colorado | District of Columbia |Illinois | Massachusetts |New York | Oregon | Washington | Wisconsin ]

[ New South Wales | Victoria ]


[ Paris, France | Tokyo, Japan ]

United States


[ Berkeley | Oakland | San Francisco ]

A very good list of Bay area bookstores can be found on this list. Some of the chains are listed, but also the local, antiquarian, and progressive bookstores broken down by area and neighborhood in SF.


Cody’s Books (editor's note: Cody's has closed its doors in Both Berkeley and San Francisco as of June, 2008. Very sad indeed!)
2454 Telegraph Avenue; Berkeley, CA 94704
1730 Fourth Street, Berkeley; CA 94710


AK Press
674-A 23rd Street
Oakland, CA 94612
AK Press is a worker run book publisher and distributor organized around anarchist principles.

San Francisco

City Lights
261 Columbus Ave

San Francisco CA

City Lights is a landmark independent bookstore and publisher that specializes in world literature, the arts, and progressive politics.

Bound Together Books
1369 Haight Street (at Masonic)
San Francisco, CA 94117
A volunteer-run anarchist collective bookstore and meeting place. Organises the annual Bay Area Anarchist Bookfare every Spring. Excellent range of books and magazines on everything from anarchism to education and disability activism.

581 Market Street
San Francisco CA



Left Hand Books
1200 Pearl Street #10
Boulder, CO 80302
(303) 443-8252
Open Mon-Sat 10 to 9 and Sun 12 to 6


Tattered Cover
Locations include:

955 East First Avenue at Milwaukee Street
Cherry Creek North
Denver CO

District of Columbia

Busboys and Poets Books
2021 14th St. NW
Washington, DC 20009
tel. 202/387-7638

1517 Connecticut Ave. NW
Washington, DC 20036
tel. 202/387-1462

Politics and Prose
5015 Connecticut Ave. NW
Washington, DC 20008
tel. 202/364-1919



1854 W. North Ave.
Chicago, IL 60622
tel. 773/342-0910

Chicago Comics
3244 N. Clark St
Chicago, IL 60657

Women and Children First
5233 N. Clark St.
Chicago, IL 6064
Bookstore featuring publications by and about women, children's books, and lesbian and gay fiction and non-fiction.


New Orleans

The Iron Rail Book Collective
511 Marigny St.
New Orleans, LA 70119
A non-profit reading room, lending library, and bookshop located in the New Orleans Marigny neighborhood.



Alternative Press Center
1443 Gorsuch Avenue
Baltimore, MD 21218
Special collections library featuring books and periodicals of the left, with archives going back to the early 1960s. Open to the public. Located inside the Progressive Action Center.

Red Emma's Bookstore and Coffeehouse
800 Saint Paul Street
Baltimore, MD 21202
Collectively run radical bookstore and coffeehouse. Available for special events and meetings.



Food for Thoughts Books
106 N.Pleasant Street
Amherst, MA 01002
A non-profit, workers' collective bookstore which hosts events, too.


Lucy Parsons Bookstore
549 Columbus Avenue
Boston, MA 02118
Collectively run radical bookstore, meeting space, events, and radical movie nights.



Amazon Bookstore
4755 Chicago Ave. So.
Minneapolis, MN 55407
Founded in 1970, Amazon Bookstore Cooperative, Inc. is the oldest independent feminist bookstore in North America.

Arise Books and Resources Collective
2441 Lyndale Ave S.
Minneapolis, MN 55405
A collectively-run activist information hub. They host music, movies, zine readings, and the Women's Prison Book Project.

Dreamhaven Books & Comics
2301 E 38th Street
Minneapolis, MN 55406
DreamHaven specializes in new and used science fiction, fantasy, horror, film and media books, comics, and graphic novels.

Magers and Quinn Booksellers
3038 Hennepin Ave. South
Minneapolis, MN 55408
Magers and Quinn is an independently owned new and used bookseller located in the heart of the popular Uptown neighborhood in Minneapolis. Their collection covers all subjects and features many unusual and hard-to-find editions, as well as thousands of current releases. Titles currently in print, whether new or used, are substantially discounted.

Mayday Books
301 Cedar Avenue
Minneapolis, MN 55454
Collectively run non-profit progressive bookstore, meeting space, events, and radical movie nights.

New York


172 Allen St (Between Stanton and Rivington)
New York, NY 10002
Bluestockings is a radical bookstore, fair trade cafe, and activist center in the Lower East Side of Manhattan. Highly recommended.

East Village Books
99 St. Mark's Pl (between 1st Ave and Ave A)
New York, NY 10000
(212) 477-8647
Small used bookstore filled with potential treasures.

Hue-Man Bookstore & Cafe
2319 Frederick Douglass Blvd
New York, NY 10027
(212) 665-7400
Bookstore and cafe in the heart of Harlem. Hosts many free author events, as well as book clubs and writers' groups, each month.

St Mark’s Bookshop
31 Third Avenue
New York, NY 10003
(212) 260-7853
"St. Mark's Bookshop was established in 1977 in New York's East Village, a community of students, academics, arts professionals and other eclectic readers. Our specialties include Cultural Theory, Graphic Design, Poetry & Small Press Publishers, Film Studies and Foreign & Domestic Periodicals & Journals."

The Strand
12th St and Broadway (main store)
(212) 473-1452
The granddaddy/mommy of used bookstores, measured by the mile.

Shakespeare & Co.
Five locations in NYC, see also Paris store.

31 W. 57th St
New York, NY 10019
(800) 52-BOOKS or (212) 759-2424
Art books and other fancy stuff.


Book Court
163 Court St
Brooklyn, NY 11201
(718) 875-3677
Two-floor general interest bookstore in Cobble Hill. Host of many author talks, and now possessing a redesigned website that includes their events listings and staff picks.

Brownstone Books
409 Lewis Ave
Brooklyn, NY 11233
(718) 953-7328
A general and African American interest bookstore in Bed-Stuy. They host author talks, book clubs, and children's storytimes.

Freebird Books & Goods
123 Columbia St
Brooklyn, NY 11231
(718) 643-8484
Buy a book in Red Hook. Voted "Best New Used Bookstore" in New York Press's "Best of Manhattan 2004" issue.

Harnik's Happy House of Books
1403 Ave J
Brooklyn, NY 11230
(718) 951-9805
A Midwood bookstore specializing in children's literature and educational resources. Their website offers some booklists, including a Jewish-themed one.

A Novel Idea Bookstore
8415 3rd Ave
Brooklyn, NY 11209
(718) 833-5115
A comfortable, family-run bookstore in Bay Ridge that sells new and used books. They host a couple of book clubs as well as children's events.

208 Smith St
Brooklyn, NY 11201
(718) 797-1348
"Comic Books, Graphic Novels, and Cartoon Art." Located in Cobble Hill.

Gone but not forgotten: Clovis Press in Williamsburg and Jane Doe Books in Bushwick.



In Other Words Women's Books and Resources
8 NE Killingsworth St.
Portland, Oregon 97211
Since 1985, a non-profit, all-volunteer, collectively run bookstore devoted to social change. Offers books as well as video rentals, a lending library and free meeting space for nonprofit groups.

Laughing Horse Bookstore

3652 SE Division
Portland, Oregon 97202
In Other Words Women's Books and Resources is the last surviving non-profit feminist bookstore in the United States. They offer a comprehensive and diverse collection of books by and about women including non-sexist children's books, and with a focus on feminist, queer, and trans studies.

Five locations including:
1005 W Burnside
Portland, OR 97205

Reading Frenzy: an Independent Press Emporium
921 SW Oak St.
(503) 274-1449


Robin's Bookstore
108 s. 13th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19107

Independently owned, with a good selection of social issues/justice kind of books. They also have good biographies, although the separate biography section has been eliminated, and these are mixed in with various subjects. Another area of focus is African-American history or issues.


The Big Idea
504 Millvale Avenue (Millvale and Liberty)
Pittsburgh, PA 15224

Radical bookstore in the Bloomfield neighborhood of Pittsburgh, featuring books, zines, music, magazines, and work by local artists. 100% volunteer run.



Recycled Books
200 North Locust
Denton, TX 76201

Over 200,000 books, 7,000 records, 16,000 CDs, and miscellaneous other goods are housed in an historic 17,000 square foot purple, yes purple, building facing Denton's courthouse. It's no exaggeration to state fresh material finds its way to our shelves hourly! Dealing with this blend of quality and quantity combined with our business hours of 9am - 9pm seven days a week makes us one of the leading independently owned bookstores in the United States.


Washington-based distro
Last Earth
"We represent an extended community of Activists across the spectrum: parents, teachers, craftspeople, blue-collar workers, students, republican farm wives, and small dogs. Our proceeds fuel our future endeavors, put locally grown and organic food in our children’s tummies, and fight for common causes in our communities. We try to support local communities wherever we travel, and we hope you’ll consider supporting ours."


Last Word Books
211 4th Avenue East
Olympia, WA

"Last Word Books is a physical and digital bookstore located in Olympia, Washington. Founded in 2002 by several students at The Evergreen State College, we offer an eclectic collection of books ranging from radical politics to the books you love to read. We are the host and benefactor of the Olympia Zine Library, amongst other things. We are constantly filling minds and the streets with much-needed radical literature. We champion freedom of speech, human rights and equality for all, advancements in literacy and education towards a self-aware and self-sufficient populace, a government that serves its citizenry, vigorous regulation of corporations, and the protection and restoration of our natural environment."


Left Bank Books
92 Pike St
Seattle WA

Collectively-owned and operated since 1973, this radical anarchist bookstore continues to thrive in the Pike Place Market and is a hub for activists, intellectuals, and genderqueers.

Walla Walla

Earthlight Books
321 E Main St
Walla Walla, WA

"We specialize in Rare Books, Western Americana, Children’s Books, Fiction, Art, Vintage Paperbacks and Comic Books, Poetry, History, Literary Criticism, Medieval & Renaissance Studies, Political Science, ‘osophies, ‘ographies, and ‘ologies of all sorts, Philosophy, Religion, Erotica and Underground & Clandestine Books."



Rainbow Bookstore Cooperative

A Room of One's Own


Harvey Schwartz
Locations include:
093 N Oakland Ave


[ New South Wales | Victoria ]

New South Wales

191 Glebe Point Rd
Glebe NSW

49 Glebe Point Rd
Glebe NSW

Four times winner of the Australian Bookseller of the Year Award, gleebooks is renowned the world over for its unique mix of academic and general books and for a commitment to quality books and writing - particularly Australian writing - that has spanned more than 30 years. Two stores - one new books the other second-hand and children's.

Better Read Than Dead
265 King St
Newtown NSW 2042
Bestsellers and fiction plus a good range of social, political and cultural books.

Jura Books
440 Parramatta Rd
Petersham NSW
Anarchist bookstore and library. Mostly second-hand.

China Books
81 Enmore Rd
Enmore NSW

Black Rose Books
83 Regent St
Chippendale NSW
Black Rose carries a wide range of anarchist, subversive, interesting, useful, amusing, frightening and just plain out of the ordinary books.

42 Oxford St
Paddington NSW
Art and design specialists and a wide range of fiction and cultural studies books.

19 Oxford Street

Paddington NSW
Berrima Book Barn
Old Hume Highway,
Berrima NSW 257
Out of print, antiquarian and second-hand books since 1812. Book barn is highly recommended.

Co-op Bookshop
Locations nationally, including many university campuses
Specialises in technical books, textbooks, and more.


330 Brunswick St
Fitzroy VIC
Zines, subculture, comics, politics, art & design and more. One of the best.

Annares Books
PO Box 150
East Brunswick VIC 3057
Anarchist book collective and mail order since 1992.



Shakespeare & Co
37 Rue de la Bucherie
English-language bookseller in Paris.



Shinjuku - Shinjuku-ku
Tokyo 160-002
While Kinokuniya is a big chain with stores all over Japan as well as the US and Australia, they are your best bet for Japanese-language learning resources and English-language texts in Japan