AVLtoday City Guide Live

Scour the shelves of these local bookstores

Find a favorite, get cozy, and explore a world between the pages.

shelves of colorful books at malaprop's books and cafe

It’s easy to get sucked into hours of browsing at shops like Malaprop’s.

Photo by AVLtoday

Table of Contents

Between the days of August heat and the unrelenting rain, we find ourselves gravitating toward the comforting confines of Asheville bookstores. Whether you’re looking for niche interests or broad subjects, cafes + comfy seating or tiny aisles with stacks of books on the floor, you won’t be searching for long.

Battery Park Book Exchange & Champagne Bar | 1 Page Ave. Ste. #101 | Nothing enhances the experience of a good read like a glass of bubbly while you browse. Wander two floors of bookshelves, glass in hand, then settle at a table for some snacks.

Firestorm Books | 1022 Haywood Rd. | This worker-owned and self-managed shop has moved from its spot at 610 Haywood Rd. to a new space up the street at 1022 Haywood Rd. Look inside for a radical selection of off-beat books as well as coffee, tea, and vegan pastries.

Malaprop’s Bookstore + Cafe | 55 Haywood St. | Browse a large selection of new books and adorable gifts before you grab coffee and a snack at the in-store cafe. Keep up with the events calendar for regular talks and signings, like the book signing on Saturday, Aug. 12 with Dr. Allen Roda for the book “PhDone.”

For pre-loved literature

Bagatelle Books | 428 C Haywood Rd. | This West Asheville spot specializes in used and rare books, but you can also find a specially curated section of new volumes. Browse the online catalogue for some of its more esoteric titles, and keep an eye on Instagram for events.

Bookends | 67 Haywood St. | Just inside the Pack Memorial Library, you’ll find great deals on gently used books, audio books, CDs, DVDs, and comic books. Proceeds from the bookstore, which is managed by the Friends of Pack Library, benefit the library.

Downtown Books & News | 67 N. Lexington Ave. | If used books are your jam, these shelves were made for searching — from classic Southern fiction to metaphysical musings, rare volumes to unusual zines, they’ve got it all. Check out the tables for some local art too.

Mr. K’s Used Books, Music and More | 800 Fairview Rd. | This family-owned bookstore has a few locations in the region, selling used and new books in lots of genres — everything from bestsellers to children’s books, religion to local interest. You can also stock up on CDs, vinyl, and movies.

fiction shelves at downtown books and news

Secondhand doesn’t mean second best when it comes to books.

Photo by AVLtoday

For a niche novel

Orbit DVD | 781 Haywood Rd. | Don’t be fooled by the shop’s name — there are plenty of books on offer with a focus on lore, true crime, the macabre, and lots more. And if you’re feeling more like a movie, it’s got more than enough to go around.

Biltmore Bookbinder’s | 1 Approach Rd. | Beautiful volumes, art, and collectibles line the shelves as you explore the world of the Vanderbilts and the Gilded Age at this little shop on the estate.

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