Support These Indie Bookstores in Phoenix

Whether it’s fiction, non-fiction, self-help, or otherwise these local establishments have got you covered, literally.

E-books might be gaining popularity, but they’ll never replace the feeling of opening a physical book—whether it’s a crisp, brand-new paperback or a well-loved hardcover novel, there’s something sacred about wrapping your hands around a great book. Plus, with more than half a dozen local, independent bookstores in the Valley, you can support a small business while getting your hands on your next great read—no one-day shipping necessary.

Changing Hands Bookstore

Tempe and Uptown Phoenix

Changing Hands is the go-to independent bookstore in the Valley with more than 48 years of history and two locations one in Tempe and another (with a bar!) in uptown Phoenix. Not only does the store have a great selection of books and gifts, it’s also a hub for book-related events, from book signings to summer reading bingo.

Palabras, opened by Chawa Magaña—a daughter of Mexican immigrants—is the state’s only bilingual bookstore, and has evolved into a meeting spot that’s part of a community space called Nature House. Here you’ll find a diverse collection of books by BIPOC authors as well as an art gallery. You can even grab a snack at its Cuentos Café.

Looking for that special, hard-to-find, rare, or out-of-print bookstore? Dog Eared Pages is your best bet. At the store and still can’t find what you’re looking for? They’ll try to track it down for you. Plus, each of their books is hand inspected for quality, and cleaned, so you know you’re getting the best of the best when it comes to used books.


Phoenix and Mesa

Tucson-based Bookmans is the go-to for used books, CDs, DVDs, magazines, and anything else you can think of, but their selection of books alone is well worth a day of perusing one of their massive locations. The bookstore got its start back in 1976, and has since grown to six locations, including two in the Valley, two in northern Arizona and two in southern Arizona.

The Poisoned Pen

Old Town Scottsdale

This bookstore has 32 years of experience bringing patrons the best of fiction novels—from mysteries and thrillers to historical fiction. The store even hosts its own book of the month clubs, which offers a subscription to a book each month—mailed directly to you. The nearly a dozen clubs include several genres to choose from, such as British crime, cozy crime, historical fiction mystery, and notable new fiction.

Grassrootz Bookstore is the Valley’s only Black-owned bookstore offering rare (and in some cases banned) books that can’t be found in your big box bookstore. It’s also created a sense of community with a lineup of events that includes music, book clubs and book launches. You can also join the store’s community library for just $5 a month.

Jamie Killin is a Phoenix native and Arizona State graduate who specializes in lifestyle and features writing. You can usually find her at the spin studio, a concert, or trying new restaurants across the Valley. Follow her at @jamiefayekillin.