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4 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.

Do you want to know a secret? One of the main reasons that we moved to Asheville, North Carolina involves a bookstore. Yup, I moved to a city because I fell in love with the Asheville used and new bookstore scene.

Can you guess which Asheville bookstore pushed this boozy and bookish blogger over the edge?

You probably guessed it: Battery Park Book Exchange. A champagne bookstore that sells used books in the heart of downtown Asheville?! Sign me up!

On our first visit to AVL, we also dropped into another one of the stellar Asheville bookstores, Malaprop’s Bookstore/Cafe. My husband practically had to drag me out after I saw the local book displays.

Malaprop’s also boasts of impressive author visits and sells endlessly geeky-fun book schwag.

Asheville is a book lover’s dream. If you are a bookworm like me, you’ll want to take some time to visit the bookshops.

What are our favorite bookstores in Asheville? What are some of the best used bookstores in Asheville and which ones do many locals also recommend? Let’s get started!

Head over to our Literary Guide To Asheville, too, and don’t miss our Master List Of Asheville Things To Do.

Best Asheville Bookstores New And Used with pictures of books standing up and pages partially opened
Did you know that Asheville has a champagne book bar, a queer & feminist co-op bookstore, and a bookshop in a location where they used to auction cows?! So what are our favorite Asheville bookstores? We’ll talk Malaprop’s Bookstore/Cafe, Battery Park Book Exchange, and so much more.

This post may contain affiliate links for products and services I recommend. If you make a purchase through these links, at no additional cost to you, I will earn a small commission. Read the full disclosure here.

4 Amazing Asheville Bookstores

1. Malaprop’s Bookstore/Cafe

Address: 55 Haywood Street, Asheville, NC
Phone Number: (828) 254-6734
Nearby Parking Garages: Civic Center Garage or Rankin Avenue Garage

Malaprop's Bookstore/Cafe Asheville, NC picture with Malaprop's sign over wooden bookshelves filled with books
Malaprop’s Bookstore/Cafe is infamous for its bookish gifts, fabulous book recommendations, indie titles, and support for local authors. Malaprop’s is truly one of our ‘must’ Asheville bookstores.

Malaprop’s is our go-to bookstore when we are hanging out in downtown Asheville. A bonus is that Pack Memorial Library is close by. You can drop into their little used bookstore if you aren’t an Asheville resident.

Malaprop’s is perfect for book lovers wanting to grab a coffee at the cafe. You can attend a literary event or peruse the stacks filled with shiny new books, bestsellers, and indie selections.

We personally love the book displays. Discover books set in Asheville, staff favorites, local travel guides, Asheville authors, and seasonal or relevant books to read.

Malaprop's Bookstore Asheville white brunette woman sitting on the corner surrounded by bookshelves and reading Thomas Wolfe's Look Homeward, Angel
Can you leave Malaprop’s Bookstore in downtown Asheville without buying something? I’m gonna say nope. Photo by Sarah Resta Photography.

If you didn’t already know, Asheville, North Carolina is literary heaven. The state is filled with local authors like Denise Kiernan and Megan Shepherd. Authors and writers love to talk about their books and writing at Malaprop’s events.

Plus, are you a total sucker for bookish schwag?! I am pretty sure I need that astronaut cat notebook and Shakespeare magnet.

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

If you are looking for rarer and used books, Malaprop’s has a sister bookstore, Downtown Books & News (DBN). Keep scrolling for the juicy details…

2. Firestorm Books

Address: 610 Haywood Road in Asheville, NC
Phone Number: (828) 255-8115
Parking: Find bike racks on Haywood Road and free street parking.

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, new 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.

Fall in love with The Hunger Games Waterfalls At DuPont State Forest.

Save This Post For Later

Best Bookstores In Asheville NC with pictures of books standing up and pages partially opened
Heading to Western North Carolina? Save your favorite Asheville bookstores for later. Read and shop like a local with Uncorked Asheville.

3. Battery Park Book Exchange

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

Battery Park Book Exchange Asheville NC outside patio with white woman in a navy blue dress with cat skirt sitting on a couch
Unlike the other used bookstores in Asheville, Battery Park Book Exchange has outdoor seating perfect for wine, a charcuterie, and people watching. Photo by Sarah Resta Photography.

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

Although this is probably one of the busiest and most touristy Asheville bookstores, don’t skip Battery Park Book Exchange.

Located in the historic Grove Arcade, you can sit inside or outside. Taste test your way through their impressive wine collection with a charcuterie.

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

Unlike Malaprop’s, Battery Park Book Exchange is a used bookstore in Asheville, NC. They specialize in books about North Carolina, American and Southern history, and the Civil War.

Battery Park Book Exchange Asheville Bookstore interior with bookshelves with clear glass and white brunette woman sitting on a couch wearing a blue dress and drinking a literary champagne cocktail
Don’t forget to grab a literary cocktail while you are looking for your next great book to read at Asheville used bookstore and champagne bar, Battery Park Book Exchange. Photo by Sarah Resta Photography.

Of course, you will find pretty much any genre and type of book. You could 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.

I love getting their newsletters that teach me more about wine. If you want to miss the crowds, I highly recommend stopping in on a weekday.

The Battery Park Book Exchange is truly one of my favorite Asheville bookstores to people watch with a drink.

Don’t miss our Literary Guide To Asheville.

More Used Bookstores In Asheville, NC

*Please make sure to double check all hours and openings on each bookstore’s website or by calling.

4. Downtown Books & News (DBN)

Address: 67 North Lexington Ave. in Asheville, NC
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 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.”

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.

Travel to North Carolina Via These Books. Or, learn more about Asheville With These Books.

The Captain’s Bookshelf — Online For 2021

Online Only At:
Page Ave. location is closed.

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.

You’ll love these Local Asheville Authors.

Even More Asheville Bookstores

Bagatelle Books (Online Asheville bookstore)

So, are you ready to head over to Asheville and visit one of our many local and independent bookstores? You can always do a little book shopping online, too.

Do you have a favorite Asheville bookstore?

Have you been to Asheville, NC before? What are your favorite Asheville bookstores? Do you prefer used bookstores to ones that sell only new books? What is your top bookstore in the United States? Let us know in the comments.

P.S. If you are a new bookstore in Asheville or feel like we overlooked you/missed something you want everyone to know, please get in touch with us.

This article originally published on June 24, 2020 and has been updated for 2021.

Loving These Asheville Bookstores? The Bookworm In You Might Also Enjoy:

Literary Sites In Asheville For Book Lovers
Hike DuPont Forest: Home To The Hunger Games Waterfalls
Head To Riverside Cemetery To See Thomas Wolfe’s Grave

Don’t Forget These NC-Based Reading Lists:

Books To Read Before Visiting North Carolina
Books Set In Asheville
Famous Asheville Authors & Their Books

Finished With This Chapter? Where Can You Head Next?

Best Things To Do Around AVL
Where To Stay In Asheville, NC

A Special Thank You To Sarah Resta Photography

Many of the pictures featured in this post are from Sarah Resta Photography.

Sarah Resta is both a local and international engagement and wedding photographer available for hire. Sarah also works with small businesses and bloggers, like The Uncorked Librarian & Uncorked Asheville.

You can find Sarah on Facebook and Instagram.

Email: [email protected]

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