I will never stop reading hard copies of books. Reading from a screen never appealed to me — too much eye strain, and I missed the tactile experience of flipping pages in a book.
Fans of "Sex And The City" will remember in the first movie when Carrie Bradshaw slides into bed with then-fiance Big and an old book from the New York Public Library. She flipped through the pages, took a big sniff, and sang the praises of its smell. Any bibliophile will relate to the incredible feeling of getting a new (or used) book in the mail.
Purchasing books isn't just about continuing to support the artists who make them with our fiscal resources — it's about supporting the bookstores housing our favorite stories.
These independent bookstores need our help, and the ones we love to shop most are those that are Black-owned in support of the Black community — a very small step we may all take in fighting the systematic racism in this country, but a way in which we can all begin making mindful decisions about where our money goes.
PYRAMID: Art, Books, And Custom Framing
Based in Little Rock, Arkansas, Pyramid is more than a store — it's a community, and has been since 1988.
Ashay By The Bay
Specializing in diverse and inclusive books for children, Ashay By The Bay is based in Vallejo, California.
Uncle Bobbie's Coffee & Books
So you can't get the coffee delivered from your couch, but you'll love the highly-curated selection of books at Uncle Bobbie's Coffee & Books.
Eso Won Books
Not just a bookstore, Eso Won Books' goal is to manifest justice and peace in this country — you'll eventually want to make the trip out there for one of their frequent readings and signings.
The oldest Black-owned bookstore in our nation, this is a particularly important one to support. Marcus Books only takes local orders by phone, but if you're in the Oakland, California area, it's a must to support.
Key Bookstore isn't just socially-conscious, they're environmentally-conscious and have therefore manifested an incredibly spiritual community space.
The Multicultural Children's Bookstore
The children's books housed at The Multicultural Children's Bookstore aren't just a massive joy for kids to read, or for loved ones to read to children. They also showcase children from LGBTQ, disability, and minority communities.
Shades Of Afrika
Centered around all things spirituality, Shades of Afrika is more than a bookstore — it's a lifestyle, filled with essential oils and natural hair care.
Old Capitol Books
Old Capitol Books is a collector's dream. They don't just have a vast array of new fiction and non-fiction — they sell vintage and antique books, as well.
A supporter of a vast array of Black-owned businesses from soaps and incense to up-and-coming authors, Underground Books is a pillar of the Oak Park, California community.
Solid State Books
You'll come to Solid State Books for the novels, of course, but you'll stay for the incredible stationary selection.
If you're like me, you spend hours browsing a selection of books before locking down one to purchase. This is when Loyalty Bookstores comes in handy — their selection of recommendations is supreme — you'll never be disappointed.
Sankofa Video Books & Cafe
Sankofa Video Books & Cafe offers an entire showcase of books under the genre of Afrofuturism that absolutely every book-lover should be checking out.
Best Richardson African Diaspora Literature & Culture Museum
Start supporting them from the comfort of your couch, but eventually, you'll want to make an in-person trip to Best Richardson African Diaspora Literature & Culture Museum for the grand non-profit museum.
Dare Books has a small, incredibly curated selection of books on race and Black history every single person should read.
Cultured Books' entire mission is centered around wanting to empower children through all types of art — music, picture books, novels, and more.
"Medu" means "the power of the world," and you can tell that Medu Bookstore carries that philosophy through in everything it does. They specialize in hard-to-find, culturally significant books
For Keeps Bookstore
For Keeps Bookstore specializes in highly sought-after signed books as well as shirts in addition to their curated selection of socially relevant books.
You'll come for the books, but you'll stay for Onyx Bookstore's incredible selection of local art.
All Things Inspiration Giftique
Bound to be your new go-to for when you need a last-minute gift that looks more thoughtful than maybe it was, All Things Inspiration Giftique has an incredibly wide selection of products, but the Gift Box is something you'll even want to gift yourself.
The Listening Tree
The Listening Tree fosters a community for the extra-curricular education of children up to 12 years old, but for your inner-child, you'll want to check out their superhero collection of novels.
Black Dot Cultural Center And Bookstore
Founded to enhance Black-positive messaging in art and literature, Black Dot Cultural Center and Bookstore has beautiful art you'll also want to check out.
Brave + Kind Bookshop
A thoughtfully-curated community for children, Brave + Kind Bookshop has books and trinkets that make incredibly thoughtful and conscious gifts.
Frontline Book Publishing
You won't need to wait for your books to be shipped from Frontline Book Publishing — they offer an incredible selection of e-books you can start reading right now.
They put it more eloquently than I ever could "Good Books is our love letter to our community, to Blackness, to you."
Semicolon Bookstore & Gallery
Semicolon Bookstore & Gallery is an incredible community, and the first I've ever heard of a BYOB bookstore that just made it to my travel bucket list.
Afriware Books has been showcasing artists with cultural pride for decades in homage to the founders' rich African heritage.
The Brand Lair Bookstore
Brand Lair Bookstore has an incredibly wide array of books with a particular focus on children's and teen books.
Da Book Joint
Da Book Joint is one you'll want to follow on Twitter for their incredible social media community, but they also ship Internationally, so you can ship their books to your friends abroad, too.
Brain Lair Books
Brain Lair Books is unique in that it offers a monthly subscription to refresh your collection often if you prefer a more low-maintenance approach to always having a quality book on-hand.