Birmingham Book Stores

Photo Tours of Birmingham book stores, located around north/central Alabama are collected on this page. There is nothing more enjoyable than stealing a few hours on some random day to meander through a book store. I’m slowly chronicling all of the neat shops (now public library bookstores too!) in our area, with photos and a little blurb. So check them out and then head on out to buy a book. Chime in with which indie bookshop is your favorite.

If I haven’t collected my own shots yet, then I’ll just link to the store’s site (if they have one). Please email me or leave a comment if you know if any shops I’ve missed or see any new or pop-up Birmingham book stores!

Birmingham Book Stores (Independently Owned Shops)

Alabama Booksmith (site)
Books, Beans and Candles MS twitter: @bbcms_shoppe
Books Etc. 
Book Rack – store closed in 2014
Church Street Coffee & Books twitter: @81ChurchStreet
Crosshaven Books – store closed in 2007
Doggone Books 
Greencup Books  – store closed in October 2009
Jim Reed Books (site) twitter: @jimreedbooks
Jonathan Benton Bookseller archived post – store closed April 2009
Literacy Council Used Bookstore (site)
Malcolm’s Reading Room archived post – store closed in 2010
Milestone Books archived post – store closed in February 2010
The Little Professor twitter: @little_prof

 

Library Used-Book Stores

Birmingham Library – Main Branch
Homewood Library
Hoover Library
Vestavia Hills Library

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  • Annie Long

    Good Tuesday Morning, Travis,
    I just discovered your blog. At first I thought the title was a placeholder and the real name was missing. Doh! HeadSubhead–that’s funny.

    I have got some bookstore yarns for you! Maybe you knew I practically grew up in what was arguably Birmingham’s most infamous independent bookstore, maybe not? My parents owned and operated Gene Crutcher-Books in Five Point South for 12 years. Back in the days when all bookstores were “independent.”
    See http://www.bhamwiki.com/w/Gene_Crutcher_Books

    It was opened in 1963, I think? I was ten years old in 1963, so I could be wrong about the year. Before opening his own shop, my father, Gene, clerked evenings for Anna and Virginia Praytor at downtown’s Smith & Hardwick on 20th street. The sisters taught Latin and English in Birmingham’s Public Schools. I took 4 years of Latin from Virginia. She was PhiBeta Kappa, which she NEVER let us forget. She’d pace back and forth, all 5 feet-nothing, with her dowager’s hump, her graying red hair in a thick bun, waggling that key back and forth, strung on a gold chain around her neck!

    Sometimes Daddy took me with him on Friday nights and I would gorge on books. Here’s what that was like.

    I was 6 years old when he would take me to work with him–one of my best memories of childhood. He’d give me a dollar to take the Krystal on the corner where I’d get a Krystal burger and fries and and an orange drink for my supper. But the true sustenance was the books. I’d gather a tall stack, staggering under the weight, I’d retreat into the back room where I would sit on a tall stool and read while the food got cold. I’d read myself into a stupor until the store closed at 10 pm. The fragrance of ink on paper is a large part of the memory. deep inhale!

    This is a story-teller’s amuse bouche, I’ll write more when I have more time. I’m currently engaged in the Disney Wars which are expected to stretch to the end of the summer. That doesn’t mean I won’t be going to the library. Our local is the Bessie Tilson Sprinkle Memorial library in Weaverville, NC–gotta love that name! and I’m a regular. I picked up a nice copy of Patti Smith’s memoir, The M Train for $4 at a recent sale there. http://www.npr.org/2015/10/07/446589412/patti-smith-reveals-her-solitary-soul-in-the-m-train

    Meanwhile, here’s what I’ve been reading lately:

    I’ve two books/authors to recommend. I’m finding that I am an addict for a good book. I’m getting more discerning–it’s like I increasingly need a stronger dose–if a book has one tired cliche on the first page, out it goes! Lucky for me, there are some good writers getting it done: these two women in particular are super-talented and both have more than one book out, so extra good.

    Swimming Lessons by Claire Fuller. https://clairefuller.co.uk/
    I’m still reading this one, it has writers, books, betrayal, sisters, mother and daughter themes. I’m hypnotized by the story, I feel like it’s happening to me, I’ve been in a trance with it–that’s good writing.

    Everything You Want Me to Be by Mindy Mejia. http://mindymejia.com/title/everything-you-want-me-to-be/
    This is a tragic story, but highly absorbing. It takes place outside the Twin Cities which interests me more now we have colleagues up there. I can see Emma Stone playing the main female character, although she’s a bit too old, but her essence is in this girl. A quote: …”since I bought my Motorola, mom has been acting like I have Satan in my pocket.” The writer has a deft and brilliant voice.

    best wishes, happy summer reading, and happy trails,

    Annie Long

    Between the pages of a book is a lovely place to be.

Books, Publishing and Birmingham