Celebrate Indie Bookstore Day at these Badger State gems.
Spend $100 at an independent bookstore, and $68 stays local. Spend $100 at a chain store, and only $43 recirculates within your community. That’s just one of the research-backed benefits of supporting your neighborhood bookstore. A great day to do it is this Saturday, April 29, on Independent Bookstore Day.
Now in its tenth year, the national event encourages booklovers to buy locally, and in return, indie booksellers roll out special deals, live music, scavenger hunts, contests, and literary exclusives you can only get that day.
Wisconsin is home to a wealth of independent bookstores. Here are a few of our favorites:
The Book Store
With 85,000+ new and used books, you’re sure to find something captivating. Don’t want to buy? The Book Store offers a unique rental service for its most popular titles.
Redbery’s big draws are its various weekly book clubs and its book subscription gift service for kids called grandreads, which sends young readers one book a month.
You’ve probably driven past The Attic without realizing it’s a bookstore! The small shop specializes in espressos, teas, and a large selection of good-condition secondhand books.
Lion’s Mouth Bookstore
One of Wisconsin’s newest, Lion’s Mouth quickly packed its calendar with book launches, author signings, and monthly book clubs.
Blue House Books
Started as a popup, Blue House finally put down roots in downtown Kenosha in 2020, where it launched a Banned Book Club, which meets on the third Sunday of every month.
A Room of One’s Own
The Capital City’s most popular bookstore is known for its knowledgeable booksellers and ever-changing, themed window displays of eye-catching titles.
Paul’s Book Store
While the University Book Store is flashier, locals say the best bookstore on the UW campus is Paul’s, a second-hand shop selling everything from beach reads to autobiographies.
Boswell Book Company
Rather than rely on The New York Times’ best-sellers list, Boswell aggregates its own and offers customers store credits if they bring in select used books.
The only Black and woman-owned BIPOC children’s bookstore in Wisconsin’s largest city, Rooted fills its shelves with books with diverse protagonists.
READ MORE: Our Exclusive Q&A with the Bookseller Bringing BIPOC Books to MKE
Books & Company
This community-based bookstore has displayed book club features, staff favorites, and new and old bestsellers on its shelves since 1983.
There’s no shortage of events at this southwest Wisconsin shop, but if you can’t make the drive and want to surprise a friend they offer next-day shipping and gift wrapping.
Janke Book Store
Wisconsin’s oldest bookstore, Janke, which has been in business since 1919, is a must-stop for history lovers, thanks to their ample supply of state history books.