Independent bookstores that had long been Charlotte fixtures are closed. Factors for their failure include the economy competition from chains, and technology that is making the printed page obsolete. The bookstores listed below, most dealing in used books, have established community events to encourage people to visit. Whether appealing to young readers, literary treasure hunters, or comic book collectors, these institutions have found the right formula to maintain enthusiasm for their bookstores.
1308 The Plaza, Ste. F
Charlotte, NC 28205
The intersection of The Plaza and Central Avenue is a nexus for readers. Book Buyers is located in a strip mall in this area, across the street from the Plaza-Midwood branch of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg public library. Offering used books is only part of what they do. Every Saturday morning there is story time for little ones from 1 to 3 years old, a great way to build a customer base! They have no website, but their Facebook page is kept up to date with promotions and literary activities around town.
2424 N. Davidson St., Suite 112A
Charlotte NC 28205
Formerly RealEyes Bookstore, Red@28th founder Darren “Jaz” Vincent, creator of the Charlotte Literary Festival, changed its location and focus about two years ago. Used books are still a vital part of this enterprise, but some new things have been added. Red@28th is touted as “Charlotte’s first multicultural literary lounge.” There is a bar and hookah, with daily specials. Individuals can find a quiet place to sit and read, or friends can gather to commune with each other. Adults of all ages are attracted to the ambiance. The courtesy van provides transportation to and from Red@28th for hotel guests and other customers.
Heroes Aren’t Hard To Find
1957 E. 7th St.
Charlotte, NC 28204
Popular with aficionados of all ages, Heroes has specialized in comic books since they opened in 1980. They host the popular Heroes Convention in Charlotte each June, a huge event attracting collectors from across the nation. Comic book creators are regular guests to sign autographs and do on the spot sketches. Plus, the store gives away free comic books once a year.
Related: Best Book Clubs To Join In Charlotte
4139 Park Road
Charlotte, NC 28209
Park Road Books has maintained a strong presence in Charlotte since 1977. The store provides a meeting place for book clubs, including a Foodie Book Club, along with 20% discounts on yearly selections. Hard copies are their mainstay, but eBooks are also provided through Kobo, with reading apps at no cost. Check out their website for a full calendar of events, staff reviews and suggestions for summer reading.
230 E. W.T. Harris Blvd.
Charlotte, NC 28262
Established in 2010, this used bookstore attracts customers with a constant program of special activities. Book signings, local arts shows and live music are regular events. In observance of Earth Day, a crafts activity is held. They also promote disc golf exchanges and local disc golf events. “Friday Night Magic” tournaments draw a loyal following with the blessing of Magic the Gathering©. The Last Word makes a difference in the Charlotte community through their collection of donations in support of six charities helping those in need.
Jacquelin Celeste Peters has produced award winning radio programs at WPFW Pacifica-Washington. She is a Culture and Events Examiner in Charlotte, North Carolina, which she calls home. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.