Posted on February 28, 2018

10 Independent Bookstores in North Carolina


There is something wonderful about entering a store full of books that you can browse and actual books that you can hold in your hands (rather than wait to download). Even when you have a particular book or genre of book in mind as you enter the bookstore, it is those chance moments of coming across a book you would not have found (had you not come to that bookstore), that makes the process of searching for a physical book such an enjoyable experience.

Bookstores offer the opportunity to meet authors, fellow book lovers, and to give and receive recommendations from people you actually see in person. North Carolina has some inviting independent bookstores including the following ten places.

Asheville: The Captain’s Bookshelf
31 Page Avenue
(828) 253-6631
Hours: Tuesday through Saturday (10:00 am to 6:00 pm)

Located on the Northwestern Edge of Downtown Asheville, The Captain’s Bookshelf has been buying and selling secondhand and rare books since 1976. Their inventory includes numerous signed books, first editions, and fine leather bindings as well as a generous collection of quality secondhand material.  They encourage visits to their store since their website only represents about a quarter of their stock.

Black Mountain: Sassafras on Sutton
108 Sutton Avenue
(828) 419-0677
Hours: Monday through Friday (9:00 am to 6:00 pm) and Saturday (10:00 am to 6:00 pm)

Located in beautiful Black Mountain right across from the Old Depot in a historic building, Sassafras on Sutton carries over 3,500 titles in all genres. Your next favorite book is waiting to be discovered. Books make the perfect gift for all ages. They also serve beverages like a mocha latte, cup of team, icy coke and they offer fun and unique gifts as well as greeting cards.

Charlotte: Park Road Books
4139 Park Road
(704) 525-9239
Hours: Monday through Friday (9:00 am to 9:00 pm), Saturday (10:00 am to 6:00 pm), and Sunday (11:00 am to 6:00 pm)

Independently owned and operated since 1977, Park Road Books (located in the Park Road Shopping Center) is the only independent bookstore carrying only new books.  They frequently receive the annual Creative Loafing’s “Best of the Best” award and pride themselves on finding the right book for the right person.  Park Road Books is active in the Charlotte community, hosting author events and local book clubs. Stop by and meet their store dog, Yola.

Davidson: Main Street Books
126 S Main Street
(704) 892-6841
Hours: Monday through Thursday (10:00 am to 6:00 pm), Friday (10:00 am to 7:00 pm), Saturday (9:30 am to 7:00 pm), and Sunday (noon to 4:00 pm)

Located in the heart of historic Davidson in the old general store, Main Street Books has been open since 1987. Their mission is to feed the imaginations of their readers with a full line of new books as well as a wonderful selection of cards, journals, and gifts. In early 2016, their antique bookcases were repaired and painted, the original wood floors were polished, the store layout was refreshed, and a comfortable sitting area for quiet reading and events was created.  Main Street Books encourages readers to stop in for a browse, a thoughtful book recommendation, and a friendly chat.

Durham: The Regulator Bookshop
720 Ninth Street
(919) 286-2700
Hours: Monday through Saturday (10:00 am to 8:00 pm) and Sunday (noon to 6:00 pm)

Open since 1976 on Ninth Street, The Regulator Bookshop sells new and used books of all genres as well as magazines, note cards, gifts, and more! Their store receives amazing support from the Durham community and is thankful for the authors who visit them and for their friends in the publishing industry.

Hendersonville: Joy of Books
242 N Main Street
(828) 551-7321
Winter Hours: Open Monday and Wednesday through Saturday (11:00 am to 5:00 pm)

Located on Main Street in Downtown Hendersonville, Joy of Books offers all types of quality new and used books (art books, cookbooks, craft books, self help, health and fitness, children’s, and a large fiction section) as well as audio books, DVD’s, and music CD’s.  Joy of Books also features local authors and local interest books including birding, hiking, and biking books.

Mebane: Fifth Street Books
2267 US Highway 70
(919) 568-8698
Hours: Monday through Saturday (8:00 am to 5:00 pm)

Known for their 99 cent books, Fifth Street Books is conveniently located on US Highway 70.  With over 100,000 books to choose from, there is something for every reader’s interests.

Pittsboro: McIntyre’s Books
2000 Fearrington Village Center
(919) 542-3030
Hours: Monday through Saturday (10:00 am to 6:00 pm) and Sunday (10:00 am to 5:00 pm)

Delighting readers of all ages since 1989, this elegant, full service independent bookstore is located in the adorable Fearrington Village Center in Pittsboro.  As one of the South’s most celebrated bookstores, McIntyre’s Books offers a wide selection of fiction and nonfiction books, with an emphasis on children’s books, cooking, mystery, and local authors.  Hosting nearly 150 author events each year, this little gem of a bookstore delivers exceptional customer service in an inviting environment that includes a comfortable seating and a fireplace.

Raleigh: Quail Ridge Books
4209 Lassiter Mill Road, Suite #110
(919) 828-1588
Hours: Monday through Saturday (9:00 am to 9:00 pm) and Sunday (10:00 am to 6:00 pm)

Located in the North Hills Lassiter District, a few doors down from Vivace and across from Ruth Chris Steakhouse, Quail Ridge Books is Raleigh’s premier independent bookstore.  Founded in 1984, Quail Ridge Books specializes in Southern literature, an imaginative children’s book section, and they host author events.   Quail Ridge Books offers a Reader’s Club and their Music Department features classical and traditional music as well as presents a diverse program of free concerts.

Sunset Beach: Pelican Bookstore
1780 Chandlers Lane, Unit #10
(910) 579-8770
Memorial Day through Labor Day: Monday through Saturday (10:00 am to 5:00 pm) and Sunday (1:00 pm to 5:00 pm)
Winter Hours: Monday through Saturday (10:00 am to 5:00 pm)

Pelican Bookstore in Sunset Beach, North Carolina carries bestselling hardbacks, trade and mass paperbacks, used books, children’s books, books from local authors, jigsaw puzzles, greeting cards, and even maps.  Their employees actually read the books, not the reviews.  If you stop by often enough, they’ll remember your name.

There are plenty of additional North Carolina bookstores beyond the ten featured in this blog post.  Also, North Carolina is home to famous authors like Nicholas Sparks (in fact, the most read book by the people of North Carolina is his book called A Walk to Remember) and Robert Beatty, writer of the popular Serafina series with the Biltmore Estate in Asheville, North Carolina as its setting.

Thus, North Carolina is home to amazing bookstores with incredible selections and bestselling authors both live in (and choose to write about) our Old North State. Most of our North Carolina Bed and Breakfast Inn members have a variety of books and board games for their guests to be entertained by during their stay.

Image by Marcus Berg of Unique Angles Photography