The range of bookstores in Atlanta include niche antiques, foreign language interests and disposable entertainment. Some bookstores on this list are unique because of the books they sell and some are unique because of how they sell them. There are also types of events that are unique to bookstores: the in-store book signing and the book launch.
A Capella Books
208 Haralson Ave. N.E.
Atlanta, GA 30307
This independent shop in Little Five Points has been around for decades. Due to its location, the square footage has to be considered “cozy,” but it is still locally appreciated. A Capella Books performs all of the usual services including buying and selling books of all subjects as well as boasting signed copies of current names like Chelsea Handler and Arianna Huffington. Shoppers in the immediate area are prone to drop in, but frequent book signings at this little location make it a destination.
Nihao Atlanta Bookstore
5391-A New Peachtree Road
Atlanta, GA 30341
This Chinese bookstore is tailored to be friendly to the non-Chinese; there are plenty of books here devoted to teaching the languages and cultures of China. For those who have mastered the tongue, current magazines, newspapers, CDs and books from China are available, too. However, it is the assortment of fun merchandise that will make visiting fun and interesting no matter what your level of Mandarin and Cantonese. The website claims that this location is the first store of its specific kind in the Southeast.
225 N. McDonough St.
Decatur, GA 30030
A cat lives at Books Again. Whether you find that to be a feature or an annoyance, it still tells you what kind of place this shop aims to be. Being located two blocks from the Decatur Marta station and six miles from downtown, however, is definitely a feature. Books Again has a selection of books you would expect to find at a larger retailer, as well as hard-to-find, rare and out-of-print books. It even has a 10-day return policy for books in the same condition.
The Book Exchange
2932 Canton Road
Atlanta, GA 30066
The Book Exchange has been around since the 70s and exercises that familiar model of book selling where you can swap your old books for a type of store credit. As an recent bonus, the paper lanterns that have been hanging in the store are now available for purchase. For those living in the Marietta area, a book club is also available.
Grey Parrot Books
2300 Peachtree Road N.W.
Atlanta, GA 30309
As the name suggests, this is a gallery as well a bookstore, but the emphasis is still on the books. The gallery displays attractive print and paper artifacts above the bookshelves and on walls. While hip bookstores are small and crowded, and average bookstores are mostly functional, this particular shop is genuinely nice to look at. The name isn’t pure style, either, but rather named after the shop’s mascot, an African Grey Parrot named Tiki.
With a BFA in Digital Media, Sean Mills has worked for design firms with clients across the United States. He has worked as an illustrator and visual designer, and has shown paintings in juried exhibitions. He currently works as a studio artist and writer in Atlanta, Georgia. His work can be found at Examiner.com.