The Best Indie Bookstores in South Florida

From social justice specialists to author meet-and-greets, we've got you covered.

When it comes to literary delights, there’s nothing more exciting than taking some personal time to go to a bookstore to peruse the shelves in search of the perfect book, and then go home ready to snuggle beneath the blankets with it until, maybe, the daylight comes.

And, while visiting the usually known, big-name bookstores can be fun, there is truly something to be said about the cultural environment and the excitement of visiting a locally-owned and -loved bookstore in your city. They give readers a chance to learn about new authors or meet writers we have never met thanks to events where we can mingle with them.

At Books & Books in Coral Gables the New York Times best-selling author Victoria Aveyard of the Realm Breaker series introduced her sequel, Blade Breaker, and she had a lot to say about readers and the fact that they discover her through events in indie bookstores, besides social media. “I owe so much to my fans, their following, and how much they support my novels,” Aveyard said, this summer when she presented at the store. “And the fact that there are indie stores such as this one that support us and get us close to readers means so, so much to me.”

Then, there is local author of the YA fantasy Lobizona, Romina Garber, who currently resides in Miami near her family. She is of an Argentine background, her books have obtained a loyal following, and she is thankful for independent bookstores that support her reads and help her grow. “Independent bookstores give their customers more than just a product,” said Garber. “They create a community. Their care for their readers leads to an intimate level of attention.”

With that said, here are the best independent bookstores in South Florida that invite readers to explore, enjoy, and be a part of their community.

Books & Books

Multiple locations

A favorite of locals, visitors and international authors who have presented their books and have held signings there, this bookstore with three locations at your service will never, ever disappoint.

While most events are held at their main Coral Gables location, with authors such as Taylor Jenkins Reid of Malibu Rising #booktok fame, as well as events with YA authors Leigh Bardugo and even Sarah J Maas (A Court of Thorns and Roses, anyone?) being a part of their presentations and signing roster, as well as an array of local authors showing up, you can say this is THE local bookstore that will make you feel right at home.

The other locations in Bal Barbour and Coconut Grove, also boast a cozy and intimate vibe that welcomes readers. Bal Harbour’s small shop is lovely and carries the most essential and needed books, while the Coconut Grove store will envelop you in their homey, fun, and eclectic environment. With diverse personalities, each is worth a visit. Pick one and go.

Bookleggers' is doing its part to ensure the city of Miami is well read. Featuring a cozy environment on Washington Avenue in Miami Beach, the spot is strictly open Sundays from 1 to 7 pm, but offers all book lovers a chance to snag a new read based on their tastes. It also offers various book stops and book boxes around the city and different locations that readers can visit with an appointment or at their leisure, to make sure nothing is ever missing from their TBR pile. Readers leave books to swap, grab tomes for free, and take home any extra reads that they might want to dive into for $2.

North Miami peeps, we have something for you. It is the eclectic Paradis Books & Bread, where you can browse for books and have a bite, brew, wine, and have some socially inclined fun, all at the same time. Paradis stands out as a cozy nook, where visitors can browse their shelves for books from different genres that will stand out for readers looking for a new treatise. They do not stop there, as they make sure their bookstore and restaurant is a safe and loving spot, where friends can meet with their buddies for a little outdoor collaborative game on their patio over a cold brew, wine, and food. It is the perfect spot to snag a new book, relax and indulge in fun conversations as you enjoy a unique literary hideaway in the North Miami Beach area. 

If we were to describe this independent bookstore with one name, it would certainly be charming. But we would also add homey, inviting, and cozy. Therefore, you must go visit, ASAP. It boasts a whimsical environment, as many of us love when it comes to indie bookstores. It offers everything from used books, special gifts, new books, and even “blind dates with books” (think of a book all wrapped up with a description, where you can snag it without knowing anything about the author and knowing just the theme and be surprised by the read at the end). Located at the historic Cauley Square Historic Railroad Village in Miami, a trip to this bookstore is worth the visit no matter how far you may reside, as when you arrive you’ll land at a magical place where you can pick new books, used books and other items that will warm your bookish heart.

Rohi’s Readery

West Palm Beach

This adorable West Palm Beach shop is worth the drive, especially if you know or have little ones. The store was founded and is operated by Pranati (Pranoo) Kumar Skomra. It has a goal of promoting themes of social justice and diversity, as it introduces younger and curious readers to books they can relate to, learn from, and share with others. Come here if you wish to purchase unique books for the younger set, for your classroom as a teacher, or even for the young at heart. You will not be disappointed.

Old Florida Bookshop

Fort Lauderdale

From classic old books and rare tomes to affordable used books, this store is the ultimate hidden treasure hunt on Griffin Road in Fort Lauderdale, close to the Dania Beach and Hollywood areas. Step inside this little shop and you will be seriously in awe of the selection, the shelves, and the way that the books are set up like an intimate and vintage library. Seriously, rows upon rows of books invite visitors to roam and take a look, and maybe take one (or several) home. Stop by, check out their affordable bookish selection that is usually in front of the shop and featuring some rare and fun finds, and find your way inside into rare, unique, and classic book heaven.

Aurora Dominguez is a contributor at Thrillist.