The 11 Best Independent Bookstores to Visit in New Orleans


Bookstores thrive in New Orleans, where the city’s past reads like a captivating story. From Anne Rice’s vampires to Tennessee Williams’ plays, the rich literary history inspires writers near and far. The best independent bookshops welcome avid readers into new worlds beyond their open doors.

Octavia Books

Octavia Books in the Garden District has a curated collection of local titles and children’s books. The small space is sectioned efficiently and even has an expansive cookbook section. Helpful staff and a loaded event calendar encourage visitors to stay a while.

Faulkner House Books

Niche finds, artistic poetry, and the works of William Faulkner reside within the walls of Faulkner House Books. The French Quarter bookstore is known for its manager, Joan Sealy, who curates book subscriptions for interested customers.

Garden District Book Shop

The locally-owned gem, Garden District Book Shop, offers readers new and used titles. An extensive signed book collection complements the store’s children’s literature, gardening, art, and design selections. Readers and authors can enjoy launches and signing events at the shop monthly.

Beckham’s Bookshop

Juniper, the resident shop cat, welcomes every reader and writer into Beckham’s Bookshop in the French Quarter. The shelves hold pre-loved books of every genre. On the third floor, Man Ray Records provides an extensive vinyl record collection.

Arcadian Books and Prints

Arcadian Books and Prints in the French Quarter can make anyone feel like a main character. A massive collection of local and international books is stacked from floor to ceiling throughout the building. Still, the shop staff can always find what customers want. There’s often a lagniappe section outside for those wanting to read for free.

Blue Cypress Books

The locals haunt Blue Cypress Books like a historic French Quarter building. Owner Elizabeth Ahlquis prioritizes the community, offering regular discounts and offers to locals. Blue Cypress Books is one of the few independent bookstores in New Orleans where readers can sell their used books.

Baldwin and Company

Honorably named after James Baldwin, Baldwin and Company focuses on social justice and thought-provoking titles. Visitors will find a diverse book selection, an enriched event calendar, and house-brewed coffee at the cozy shop in the Faubourg Marigny.

Crescent City Books

Step through the doors of the old-timey Crescent City Books and time travel as far back as the 16th century. The shop’s antiquarian collection hosts out-of-print titles, antique maps, and manuscripts. All staff members are friendly but respectful of silent browsing.

Frenchmen Art and Books

Readers will delight in the jumble of new and unexpected titles at Frenchmen Art and Books. The shelves and stacks are chaotic, but the staff always know how to help. Frenchmen Art and Books is one of few bookstores that stay open late to accommodate the bustling nightlife of New Orleans.

Community Book Center

Community Book Center in the 7th ward is a sanctuary for readers interested in African American authors, teachers, and speakers. The shop has offered educational events and support for the African American community since 1983.

Dauphine Street Books

Enter the dream world of Dauphine Street Books, where book signings occur in the courtyard and pre-loved novels overflow. The historic building in the French Quarter decorates every reader and writer’s book shop experience with New Orleans charm.

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