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 – twitter: @ALBooksmith
Books, Beans and Candles MS – twitter: @bbcms_shoppe
Church Street Coffee & Books – twitter: @81ChurchStreet
Jim Reed Books – twitter: @jimreedbooks
Literacy Council Used Bookstore – twitter: @literacy_update
Little Professor – instagram: @littleprofhomewood
Little Professor – Pepper Place
Thank You Books – twitter: @thankyou_bham
Birmingham Book Stores That Are Now Permanently Closed
Books Etc. – store closed in 2017
Doggone Books – store closed in 2016
Book Rack – store closed in 2014
Milestone Books – store closed in February 2010
Greencup Books – store closed in October 2009
Jonathon Benton Bookseller – store closed April 2009
Malcolm’s Reading Room – store closed in 2009
Crosshaven Books – store closed in 2007
Library Used-Book Stores
Birmingham Library – Main Branch
Vestavia Hills Library
5 thoughts on “Birmingham Book Stores”
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.”
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,
Between the pages of a book is a lovely place to be.