Birmingham Bookstores title header graphic

Birmingham Bookstores

Photo tours of Birmingham bookstores, 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 bookstores!

Birmingham Bookstores (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
Homewood Library
Hoover Library
Vestavia Hills Library

6 thoughts on “Birmingham Bookstores”

  1. 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.

    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.
    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.
    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.

Leave a Reply

Books, Publishing and Birmingham