The conventional wisdom is wrong: Real bookstores are not dead.
From Seattle to Miami, you'll still find wonderful (and large) local bookstores that are destinations unto themselves.

Yes, over the past two decades many independent bookstores have gone to that big remainder table in the sky, unable to undersell the big chain stores and the online book merchants.

While that's much to be lamented, our purpose here is not chain-bashing (let he who has never enjoyed a 30-percent discount on a bestseller cast the first stone), but celebration. Its numbers may be fewer, but the great American indie bookstore lives on, nurturing literature lovers who still long for a more intimate encounter with the printed page in a milieu that is stubbornly local and shaped by the personal, sometimes quirky tastes of dedicated bibliophiles.

So, a toast to some of the country's most treasured independ-ent bookstores. Note we said some, not all. All lists are incomplete, and we're keenly aware that dozens of beloved indies have been left out. We can already hear the cries: "Hey, where's Cody's Books in Berkeley? Politics & Prose in D.C.? Harry W. Schwartz in Milwaukee? John K. King in Detroit? And what about That Bookstore in Blytheville, Arkansas? And Square Books in Oxford, Mississippi, and Brattle Book Store in Boston, and Shaman Drum in Ann Arbor, and …"

And so many more. Perhaps a sequel is in order. Maybe a trilogy!

NEW YORK CITY
Strand Books

Broadway and 12th Streets
(212) 473-1452
Founded: 1927
Offers: New, used, and rare books
Claim to Fame: "Eight Miles Of Books"