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6 Incredible Asheville Bookstores Not To Miss

Are you looking for the best bookstores in Asheville, NC? Don’t miss these Asheville bookstores, including a champagne book bar, used bookstores, and bookshops that are havens for writers and rebels.

Did you know that Asheville has a champagne book bar, a queer and feminist co-op bookstore, and a bookshop in a location where they used to auction cows?

In fact, one of the main reasons that we moved to Western North Carolina involves an Asheville bookstore. Can you guess which one pushed these boozy and bookish travel writers over the edge?

Battery Park Book Exchange! Picture sipping literary cocktails between the stacks in the heart of Downtown Asheville.

Of course, you cannot skip another one of the stellar Asheville bookstores, Malaprop’s Bookstore and Cafe. Explore fantastic local book displays, attend author visits, and shop for geeky schwag.

The city truly is a book lover’s dream.

So, what is our favorite bookstore in Asheville — as locals? What are some of the overall best bookstores in Asheville to drop into if you are visiting or are a resident?

We’ll even share online bookshops, library book sales, and a huge bookstore near Asheville that sells toys and games. Let’s get started!

You may also enjoy our Literary Guide To Asheville.

Best Asheville Bookstores New And Used with pictures of books standing up and pages partially opened
What are our favorite Asheville bookstores? We’ll talk Malaprop’s Bookstore/Cafe, Battery Park Book Exchange, Downtown Books & News, and so much more.

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See our Top Places To Stay in Asheville.

Don’t miss out on these Asheville properties on Booking.com, too.

6 Amazing Asheville Bookstores

1. Malaprop’s Bookstore/Cafe

Address: 55 Haywood Street, Asheville, NC
Website: https://www.malaprops.com/
Phone Number: (828) 254-6734
Nearby Parking Garages: Civic Center Garage or Rankin Avenue Garage

Malaprop’s is our go-to Downtown Asheville bookstore, and the cafe is perfect for book lovers wishing to grab a coffee or tea.

Attend a literary event or peruse the stacks filled with shiny new books, bestsellers, and indie selections. We personally covet Malaprop’s book displays.

Discover books set in Asheville, staff favorites, local travel guides, and seasonal or relevant books to read.

If you didn’t already know, Asheville, North Carolina is a literary haven for writers. The state is filled with local authors like Denise Kiernan and Megan Shepherd.

Author, writers, historians, and poets love to talk about their books and writing at Malaprop’s events.

Plus, if you are a total sucker for bookish schwag, shop for astronaut cat notebooks, Shakespeare magnets, and The Little Prince socks.

Who doesn’t covet a clever literary tote to carry all of their new purchases? We dare you to leave this popular Asheville bookstore empty-handed.

If you are looking for rarer and used bookstores in Asheville, Malaprop’s has a sister shop, Downtown Books & News (DBN). Keep reading for the details…

Plus, a bonus is that Pack Memorial Library is close by. Drop into their small used bookstore, even if you aren’t an Asheville resident. Nothing beats a good library book sale either.

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2. Firestorm Books & Coffee

West Asheville Address: 610 Haywood Road in Asheville, NC
Website: https://www.firestorm.coop/
Phone Number: (828) 255-8115
Parking: Find bike racks on Haywood Road and free street parking. “May the odds be ever in your favor.”

Firestorm Books & Coffee with children's section with colorful table and chairs and full book display along the wall
Firestorm has a sweet children’s section. When you walk in, we highly recommend perusing their amazing book displays (says Christine as The Uncorked Librarian). We want to buy all of the books!

Firestorm Books & Coffee is one of the most radical and unique Asheville bookstores.

A self-proclaimed queer, feminist collective, Firestorm is a worker-owned and self-managed business.

While they run like a nonprofit, Firestorm is a co-op with books and a community space in West Asheville.

Book lovers can find indie books, amazing diverse new book releases, artwork, and vegan treats. They host film screenings, workshops, book clubs, and fundraisers.

Firestorm’s goal is to reflect the needs of marginalized Southern communities. In the bathroom, you will also find free condoms and a place to dispose of syringes with sharps.

3. Battery Park Book Exchange

Address: 1 Page Ave. Suite #101 in Asheville, NC
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/batteryparkbookexchange/
Phone Number: (828) 252-0020
Parking: While there is metered street parking, the Wall Street Garage is your closest parking garage.

Imagine drinking champagne and literary cocktails in a used bookstore in Asheville. Sounds heavenly, right?

Although this is one of the busiest and most touristy Asheville bookstores, don’t skip Battery Park Book Exchange. It’s also one of our favorite Downtown Asheville bars.

Located in the historic Grove Arcade, sit inside or outside. Taste test your way through their impressive wine collection paired with one of the best charcuterie boards in AVL.

We always order a literary cocktail crafted and named after a famous author.

Battery Park Book Exchange specializes in books about North Carolina, American and Southern history, and the Civil War.

Of course, you will find pretty much any genre and type of book. Spend hours perusing the multi-level stacks.

Battery Park Book Exchange hosts live music, readings, and parties. You’ll see small groups meeting for book clubs or celebrations.

If you wish to skip the crowds, we highly recommend stopping in on a weekday.

You may also want to head to the coolest and nearby rooftop bars like Hemingway’s or The Montford. Read more about Asheville’s fabulous wine bars too.

4. Downtown Books & News (DBN)

Address: 67 North Lexington Ave. in Asheville, NC
Website: https://www.dbnbooks.com/
Phone Number: (828) 253-8654
Parking: While there is metered street parking, the Civic Center & Rankin Garages are your closest parking garages.

Downtown Books & News (DBN) is a used bookstore in Asheville and is the sister store to Malaprop’s. DBN is also an art gallery and newsstand.

As they best explain, Downtown Books & News specializes in “metaphysical & occult, hippie how-to, homesteading & self-sufficiency, Eastern medicine, zines, things beautifully illustrated, and Easton & Franklin Press leather-bound editions.”

Inside, you’ll find old movie theater seating, endless bookshelves, and school desks from your childhood.

An extra cool Asheville bookstore fact: the store they are currently in used to be a shoe store and a jewelry store. Before then, people auctioned off their live cattle here.

More Bookstores In Asheville, NC – Online & Nearby

5. The Captain’s Bookshelf — Online Now

Online Only At: https://www.captainsbookshelf.com/
Page Ave. location closed. (Private Bookroom at 267 Flint St.)

The Captain's Bookshelf Asheville Used Bookstore with inside of the bookstore lined with bookshelves filled with older and used books
The Captain’s Bookshelf is one of the oldest Asheville bookstores. Unfortunately, the downtown brick-and-mortar bookshop closed in 2020. You can, however, buy books online.

The Captain’s Bookshelf is one of the oldest Asheville bookstores. Unfortunately, they closed their doors in 2020 and now have an online used bookstore.

Established in 1976, Captain’s buys and sells used and rare books, including signed books, first editions, and leather-bound novels.

Like the other used bookstores in Asheville, Captain’s offers an eclectic selection and specializes in local Appalachian literature. You can grab a Thomas Wolfe novel too.

6. Sassafras On Sutton (Black Mountain)

Address: 108 Sutton Ave, Black Mountain, NC 28711
Website: https://www.sassafrasonsutton.com/
Phone Number: (828) 419-0677
Parking: You’ll find numerous free lots and side street parking around Historic Downtown Black Mountain

For a small Asheville day trip, Black Mountain is a gorgeous and worthy WNC mountain town. Only about 25 minutes from Downtown AVL, explore one of our favorite bookstores near Asheville.

As you stroll up to Sassafras On Sutton, you’ll know that you are in for a fabulous and bookish experience. The store is a literary nerd’s oasis.

Find a bench swing and outdoor patio before entering the bookstore’s top-level floor, designed with families in mind.

Endless board games, toys, stuffed animals, and children’s books greet unsuspecting visitors. This is the only Asheville bookstore that’s also a toy store on our list.

Then, head downstairs for Sassafras on Sutton’s adult area filled with bookish schwag, including t-shirts, totes, and socks.

Their new releases section is one of the best. Sassafras on Sutton’s book curators clearly know their stuff.

You’ll also find a small tea and coffee cafe situated in the middle of endless black book stacks.

Outside the second entry/exit toward the back, peruse Sassafras on Sutton’s Free Little Library. We could spend hours here.

After visiting Sassafras on Sutton, discover the best things to do around Black Mountain such as hikes, museums, and coffee shops.

If you are hungry, be sure to check out Black Mountain’s delicious restaurants, including Cousins Cuban Cafe, Berliner Kindl German Restaurant, and local favorite, The Trailhead.

Even More Asheville Bookstores

Bagatelle Books
Biblio.com (Online Asheville bookstore)

Need help finding a book to read? Check out our reading lists:

Lastly, if you are looking for book recommendations, head over to our sister site, The Uncorked Librarian (TUL).

Also managed by Christine, TUL focuses on books and movies to inspire travel. Find reading lists with new books, books by country, and seasonal book lists.

Did you find a new bookstore in Asheville, NC to love? Save this article for later:

Best Bookstores In Asheville NC To Love Pinterest Pin with table filled with books at Malaprop's Bookstore in Downtown Asheville
Heading to Western North Carolina? Save your favorite Asheville bookstores for later. Read and shop like a local with Uncorked Asheville.

Do you have a favorite Asheville bookstore?

What are your favorite Asheville bookstores? Do you prefer used bookstores or ones that sell only new books?

What is your top bookstore in the United States? Around the world? Please let us know in the comments.

See our Top Places To Stay in Asheville.

Don’t miss out on these Asheville properties on Booking.com, too.

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N

Sunday 5th of September 2021

Much missed is the late great Accent on Books in north Asheville on Merrimon Ave (in the lower end of the shopping center across from Ingles.)

It was locally owned and runned independent book store that was in the same location for 30 years before the owners retired.

Not as smug and self satisfied as Malaprop’s (and which a much friendlier staff) it was a go to place for fiction, non fiction, regional books, etc. including a superb children’s section and a top notch theology section. My book shopping has never been the same since it closed in 2014. Somebody bring it back!

Christine

Monday 6th of September 2021

Awww; we were not here for Accent on Books, but that's a total bummer. It sounds amazing. I know the plaza you mean. Dang it!

Kate Kelly

Friday 3rd of July 2020

So glad to get your newsletter. My husband, our Portuguese water dog , and I are moving permanently to Asheville the end of July, and we have lots to learn about all the offerings. We were there for 5 weeks in March just as things were closing down. Thanks for all the local info. Kate

Christine

Friday 3rd of July 2020

Hey Kate, Thanks so much! I am so glad to be back at it. Congrats on the move to Asheville, too. I hope you love it as much as we do. Never hesitate to reach out or email if you have questions. Asheville is changing up a bit these days with the pandemic, but there is still plenty to see and do outside. You'll be right in time for a gorgeous fall. Welcome!

Macey @ Brine & Books

Wednesday 1st of July 2020

I love love love exploring & discovering new bookshops, so this post was such a fun read for me!! There's something so magical & wonderful about bookstores. The Captain's Bookshelf sounds lovely & I think it's just my kind of bookstore!

Christine

Thursday 2nd of July 2020

I love bookstores so much, too! Thank you. The Captain's Bookshelf is fun to wander around in.

Sarah

Thursday 25th of June 2020

These bookstores look and sound amazing. Whenever I travel, I always make sure to look for any bookstore to hit in all of the towns and cities I will be in or near. I love discovering locally owned stores that often have significantly different stock than the big box stores, plus it's nice to support smaller local businesses. I would totally visit all of these stores if I ever made it to Ashville.

Christine

Friday 26th of June 2020

Me too! I love hunting for bookstores and just wandering upon them while traveling. You right: it feels great to support local businesses while traveling, too. You'd love the Asheville bookstores. They are all so different.

Kathy | Tasty Itinerary

Thursday 25th of June 2020

Book stores! Ah, so nice to see a city with so many book stores and even one that serves actual drinks.

Sadly, most of our book stores have closed down. There are a couple of popular ones in Downtown Los Angeles that people go just to take photos in. I do have a Vromans by me that is also quite popular in the neighborhood.

I can't wait to visit Ashville to visit a couple of these on the list. I definitely need to make it to Battery Park Book Exchange. Sounds like a blast.

Christine

Friday 26th of June 2020

I know! I love that for one of the smaller US cities, we have so many great bookstores within downtown Asheville and the surrounding areas.

I'm hoping that since these big ones have been around for a while, that they will remain open once the pandemic dies down. We've seen so many great stores close recently. It's devastating.

Yesssss, I've seen the pictures from some of the more famous bookstores there. It's kind of funny that people go just for pictures...IG!!! lol

You'll love Asheville!