A Post: Bookstores in Other States - Montgomery, Alabama

I may have mentioned that I get travel fever. I can't go more than a month without driving somewhere to get my fix. It could be a lot worse. I generally like make a point of stopping to scope out indie book shops in each little city I visit. I've seen quite a few, so many in fact, that I've been asked if I plan on visiting every indie in the world. A lofty goal I'm not likely to achieve. I guess I could try, though.

So I thought I'd start sharing these stops and maybe you could visit, too.

Montgomery, Alabama

Oh, Alabama. I don't mean to pass judgement because I hate it, but I've always been wary of the big A. The state just never seemed terribly exciting. But I've learned my lesson and will admit that I was very impressed. Montgomery has some pretty sweet spots and was glad we were able to visit.

Great selection.
Welcoming and enormously helpful staff.
Cool setup.. hello old kitchen-turned-cookbook collection.

And because we drove something like 3 hours to get there, we decided to make a day of it. We had lunch at a little cafe (pictured above) and then dinner at a really great Mexican restaurant. The real highlight, however, aside from the bookstore, was Leroy Lounge. I found the drink menu online and knew we had to stop. I had a Pimm's cup for the first time and a blackberry-champagne concoction. Delicious. Plus, the bar's atmosphere was just incredible. A dark interior, with vintage light fixtures and plush, burgundy walls like velvet. If you're there, you have to visit! 

I'd like this to serve as an opportunity for readers to share their favorite independent (local or not) shops as well. Leave a comment if there's one you want to share!


  1. I love visiting Indie and second-hand bookstores when I'm in different cities/provinces (and states!) too! My husband I did a motorcycle trip down the Oregon coast 2 summers ago, and every little seaside town we passed had at least one neat little book shop. We couldn't stop at them all - mainly because we were on the bike and couldn't buy anything anyway. I'd love to go back and do the drive in a car though! I bought one book - a cute old copy of Wuthering Heights :)

    And yes - I'd love for you to continue sharing your stops :)

    1. Brie,
      Yes, Justin has started looking up places before we go in order to surprise me once we get there. But I've usually already found them myself ;) I like to hold onto those copies because they remind me of the time we had and the great things we were able to see. At some point I'll have to start letting them go, but for now it's a good setup. I didn't find any stores when we did the Washington/Oregon coast but maybe we didn't drive far enough down. It sounds like the perfect reason to go back!

      I'd like to make it a feature so that other people can share. You know, give me more places to visit ;)

    2. We did the whole coast, down to the Redwoods in California. Maybe I'm just *remembering* that there were more book shops then there actually was because we couldn't stop every time I wanted to! ;) The ones we did go into were once you went into the towns - not ones right along the highway.

      A feature would be a great idea! :)

  2. Man, my travel fever is intense at the moment so I sympathise! You take beautiful photos by the way :)
    We visited Alabama on our honeymoon but not Montgomery, which is a shame because it seems like a lovely place. Every town we went to, I hunted out the book shops! New Orleans & Oxford, MS had the best ones.

    Also, you don't get good Mexican food here like you do in America, I might have to learn to cook it for myself!

    1. I'll be in Memphis in two weeks, and then Indianapolis the week after that, so for now I can deal. Haha. I know you've got so much going on right now. So perhaps I can help you relive your honeymoon?! I need to visit Oxford. Mississippi is another of my least favorite states, and I've only ever driven through, but I hear Oxford is really cool. Noted!

      Thank you for the photo compliment.. I'm trying really hard. So that always makes my day :)

      The food at this place was really good and we ended up eating so much that our stomach's were aching the entire trip home. Not good. You should! I love making tacos with fresh ingredients because they're delicious and simple and healthy. Good luck with all your developments!

  3. I remember those burritos were so big that we had to put them on a trailer to take the leftovers home.

  4. Labyrinth Books in Princeton, NJ is gorgeous and I love that they have Out of Print products too. :) When I visited my best friend in Maryland, we went to Ukazoo Books in Towson. They have a fantastic selection of used books in every subject imaginable.

    1. Lindsey,
      Ok, I'm making a note of these for future trips. I LOVE OUT OF PRINT stuff. There's a place in Asheville that has the coolest cards from them. Love it. Hmm.. I just went to Maryland! And didn't visit a single store. Thanks for the recs!

  5. Thanks for the kudos to our Capitol Book & News and other neighborhood establishments in Old Cloverdale! Visitors to Montgomery are invited to consider The Lattice Inn if you want to be near the wonderful establishments mentioned above. We're a short stroll from them all!
    Jim Yeaman, Owner/Innkeeper

  6. We're hometown supporters of Capitol Book.
    When you visit Raleigh, I hope you'll visit Quail Rise. I think I remembered the name correctly.

  7. Don't forget to check out New South bookstore and publishing next time you come through Montgomery! We have more than one good indie book stores.


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