Mapping the Valley: Indie Bookstores from Central Phoenix to Scottsdale

Emily SchmidtFebruary 11, 2021
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With the first week of February finished, it’s likely that some people have already given up on their New Year’s resolutions. If you vowed to read more in 2021, don’t give up just yet. As the pandemic continues, local bookstores need support now more than ever. Check out these four Valley bookshops to fulfill all of your literary goals.

Central Phoenix
Lawn Gnome Publishing
12 N. 5th St., Phoenix

Located in the Roosevelt Row arts district, this whimsical bookstore is a coffee-loving bookworm’s dream. You can sip fresh coffee on the porch, peruse vintage books, attend outside open mic nights and even receive publishing services like e-book formatting and white paper creation if you have a book to share with the world. The family-owned and -operated store is a great stop the next time you’re taking a walk on your lunch break.

North Phoenix
Changing Hands Bookstore
300 W. Camelback Rd., Phoenix
If you’re from Tempe, you’ve probably visited the original bookstore on McClintock and Guadalupe. The Phoenix location boasts its own charm with the First Draft Book Bar, where you can purchase wine, beer, coffee and snacks. It also holds numerous author events, writing workshops, and book clubs for every type of reader.

The Poisoned Pen Bookstore
4014 N. Goldwater Blvd., Scottsdale
Nonfiction may be all the rage these days, but this Old Town Scottsdale bookshop caters toward dedicated fiction fans. From thrillers to sci-fi, you’ll get lost in the shelves with all of the choices at your fingertips. You can also sign up for genre-specific book clubs and watch weekly author webcasts.

Old Town Books
518 S. Mill Ave., Tempe

In the heart of Tempe, this quaint used bookstore is a stark contrast from the rest of the bustling college town. Family-run since 1984, the shop is full of vintage and out-of-print books that you probably won’t find anywhere else. When you’re browsing, be on the lookout for the resident cat who might brush up against your leg.


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