Jun 20, 2023 - Things to Do

11 great local bookstores in New Orleans

piles of book fill a table

Baldwin & Co. offers a coffee shop and a curated selection of books focusing on social justice and Black authors. Photo: Courtesy of Baldwin & Co.

From Anne Rice’s vampires and the annual Tennessee Williams Festival’s “Stella” shouting contest in the French Quarter to Sarah Broom’s evocative New Orleans East-based memoir, New Orleans has one heck of a rich literary history.

Of course, it doesn’t take writing the next great New Orleans novel to be a part of this tradition. Step into it yourself by visiting one (or all!) of these 11 local New Orleans bookstores.

Baldwin & Co.

What to expect: A Black-owned coffee shop and bookstore, Baldwin focuses on how books can be a part of social justice reform. Look for the Montessori-style displays and diverse, thought-provoking author events.

Where to find it: 1030 Elysian Fields Ave.

Beckham’s BookShop

What to expect: Spend time digging through the tens of thousands of new and used books and vinyl records. Just don’t forget to say hi to the shop cat, too.

Where to find it: 228 Decatur St.

Blue Cypress Books

What to expect: Find new releases from local authors and signed copies of popular titles, and sell your own used books (as long as they’re in good condition) for store credit or cash.

Where to find it: 8123 Oak St.

Community Book Center

What to expect: A longtime 7th Ward mainstay amongst the stretch of Black-owned businesses on Bayou Road, you’ll find African-centered titles, events and gifts.

Where to find it: 2523 Bayou Road.

Crescent City Books

What to expect: Amongst the stacks, you’ll find new, used and out-of-print titles with a focus on local histories and antique maps and prints.

Where to find it: 240 Chartres St.

Dauphine Street Books

What to expect: A diverse range of primarily used books, from the classics to collectibles. Look for the bargain boxes, which are often perched outside the door.

Where to find it: 818 Chartres St.

Faulkner House Books

What to expect: Stacked shelves of rare and collectible titles, local interest works and of course titles by and about the store’s southern literary namesake who once lived within its walls.

Where to find it: 624 Pirate’s Alley.

Frenchman Art and Books

What to expect: Lightly chaotic shelves filled with new and unexpected titles. The shop is open late, so it’s easy to pop in between sets at nearby Frenchmen Street clubs.

Where to find it: 600 Frenchman St.

Garden District Book Shop

What to expect: A diverse collection of new and used titles, including those on art and design, gardening and kids books. Plus, look to the event calendar for book launches and author signings.

Where to find it: 2727 Prytania St.

Octavia Books

What to expect: Titles from local authors, a sweet children’s section, a tidy cookbook section and a busy event calendar.

Where to find it: 513 Octavia St.

Tubby and Coo’s Book Shop

What to expect: A queer-owned local shop for “nerds, geeks and anyone who doesn’t feel supported elsewhere,” with a focus on sci-fi, fantasy, romance, horror, queer and diverse books.

Where to find it: The brick-and-mortar store in Mid-City closed in May, and now the owners do regular pop-ups. See the calendar.

Editor’s note: This story has been updated to show that Tubby and Coo’s brick-and-mortar has closed.

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