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.
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6 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 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
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 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
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.
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.
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 (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 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
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
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.
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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.