Bookstores often carry the same inimitable magic boasted by theaters and art galleries—all offer forms of escapism that inspire images of new worlds, thoughts and sometimes even people. While Arizona isn’t regarded as a destination for book lovers, these local book shops make the argument that it probably should be. Here are some of Arizona’s best local bookstores.
Changing Hands Bookstore
If The Strand is New York City’s premier bookstore, then Changing Hands is definitely Phoenix’s. This shop boasts an extensive book collection—with everything from more contemporary reads to classic cult favorites, and even a selection of books from local authors. Beyond the literature, this Phoenix location also lures visitors with its beer-and-wine bar, First Draft. For more information, visit www.changinghands.com.
The Poisoned Pen Bookstore
Fans of Nora Ephron’s 1998 movie “You’ve Got Mail” can find their own “shop around the corner” at The Poisoned Pen Bookstore—a local book shop that’s regarded as a favorite among locals for its frequent events, eclectic selection of literature, and incontestably cozy space that’s quite literally perched on a corner off Goldwater Boulevard. For more information, visit www.poisonedpen.com.
Bright Side Bookshop
Bright Side Bookshop lives up to its name in most every way—the staff are exceptionally kind, the location and interior aesthetic are as vibrant as they are completely comfortable, and the store’s vast selection of reads makes it a dreamy hideaway for both adults and children alike. For more information, visit www.brightsidebookshop.com.
While Mesa’s main street has been revamped in recent years with newer, hipper shops and bars, the Book Gallery has long remained—and its enduring nature is a testament to the unparalleled charm and warmth that’s offered by both the staff and the classic books that grace the shelves of the shop. If you’re looking to visit a store that will make you feel like you’re walking the aisles of something straight out of a move, the Book Gallery is worth paying a visit to. For more information, visit www.book-gallery-mesa.edan.io.
Bisbee Books & Music
Bisbee is one of Arizona’s quirkiest towns—so naturally, it only makes sense that one of its most beloved book shops maintains that same level of eccentricity too. Bisbee Books & Music is a hotspot for vintage literature, indie reads, and a number of other cool items—including their extensive music collection. For more information, visit www.bisbeebam.com.