Five regional indie bookstores to search for your next read

Five regional indie bookstores to search for your next read

As great as ebooks are, holding a physical book in your hands has a certain charm, especially when that book was bought local. Across Tuscaloosa and Birmingham, there are a handful of independent bookstores selling used and new titles to add to your shelf, as well as connecting readers with creators. 

The Book Rack

Located on 15th Street near Druid City Brewery, The Book Rack sells used paperback books for half their original price and also allows you to trade in books. The little book shop is open Monday through Friday 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. and Saturdays 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Fair warning: The Book Rack doesn’t accept credit or debit cards, so bring cash to purchase your find. 

Ernest & Hadley Booksellers

Owned by mother and daughter duo Easty Lambert-Brown and Avery Leopard, Ernest & Hadley Booksellers not only sells books but often hosts meet-and-greets with visiting authors. Located on 7th Street in Tuscaloosa, the bookstore named after author Ernest Hemingway and his wife sells bestsellers and also takes submissions of work for publication from independent publishers, authors and artists. Ernest & Hadley Booksellers is open Monday through Friday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturday 10 a.m. 5 p.m. 

Little Professor Book Center 

Open since 1973, Little Professor Book Center in Birmingham claims to be the city’s oldest independent bookstore. Located on 18th Street South in Homewood, the store hosts signings with authors a couple times a month. They’re open Monday through Friday 9 a.m. to 8 p.m., Saturdays 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sundays 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. 

The Alabama Booksmith

The Alabama Booksmith has been featured in publications across the country from Southern Living to NPR. What grabs the attention about this bookstore is that every book on the shelves in is a signed copy. In fact, the store deals exclusively in signed copies. The Alabama Booksmith is located on 19th Place South in Birmingham but you can check out their inventory on their website, You can also find video interviews there including Rick Bragg and Ken Burns. The store is open Monday through Saturday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. 

Reed Books 

Columnist and gothic humorist Jim Reed is the man behind Reed Books and The Museum of Fond Memories on 3rd Avenue North in Birmingham. His store is stocked with not only books, but also magazines, newspapers, movie posters, periodicals, diaries, journals and more. According to the store’s website,, you can browse 50,000 items online, but they also claim to have 250,000 more items in the store. Reed Books is open Tuesday through Friday 10:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. and Saturdays 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. 

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