For the Love of Books – Chattanooga’s Top Bookstores

There’s nothing like the magic of a bookstore. The feeling of your fingers dancing over the spines, the sound of a hardback cracking open, the smell of a fresh brewed cup of coffee, perusing the shelves of a local bookstore is unmatched. Fortunately, Chattanoogans are no stranger to love of a good book and our city is home to many wonderful places to get lost in your next read. Read on (pun intended!) for more.

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Book and Cover store interior

The Book and Cover

Owned and operated by three best friends & Chatt natives, The Book and Cover began as a dream and ended as a beautiful independent bookstore nestled in the cozy neighborhood of North Chattanooga. The Book and Cover was rooted in the community from its very founding, with founders Emily Lilley, Sarah Jackson, & Blaes Green, crowdfunding the startup capital on Indiegogo and eager, future customers coming together to help build the shelves that line the walls of the warm, inviting Hanover St. house that their diverse selection of books calls home. Since opening in November 2021, the Book and Cover has welcomed readers who love to “read books and stay curious” and that commitment to serving their loyal and devoted readers has only grown. With events like bilingual story hour, monthly book clubs, and their annual spring “Ink Drink” there’s always something fun going on so walk on through the hot pink door, grab a cup of Goodman coffee or maybe a Bread & Butter croissant and make yourself at home!

Winder Binder Mercantile Book Store

Winder Binder Mercantile

A North Shore staple since 1994, the Winder Binder Mercantile is a one stop shop for tourists and locals alike. Located on bustling Frazier Ave., the shop, whose name remains as an homage to its original role as a wind-up toy shop, is a perfect place to spend an afternoon. The aisles are stocked with both with new books, but if you’re feeling particularly adventurous, opt for their mystery book box! You choose up to three genres and they take it from there! Or give them full control and let both the books and their genres be a surprise! While you’re picking up your mystery box, be sure to linger a while and peruse their vinyl collection, folk art and pottery, or brush up on your Chattanooga history with their fast selection of Images of America books. And if you’re looking to show off your Chattahooligan pride, you can snag some official Chattanooga FC merchandise while you’re here, too!

McKay’s Books

If your idea of book shopping is closer to treasure hunting then McKay’s Chattanooga is the place for you. Upon walking through the doors you are greeted by a bonafide warehouse-worth of shelves packed with used books, CDs, DVDs, and more. Find one of the yellow placards to help direct you to the aisle you need and get to searching! Don’t see what you came for? Come back in a week or so and check again. McKay’s accepts inventory every day so there’s always something “new” to discover! With over a hundred genres in stock, it’s easy to get lost in all this Lee Highway institution has to offer. The first floor houses everything from classic literature to video game consoles, but be sure to make a trip upstairs and spend an hour or two flipping through the hundreds of vinyl records that line the upper level. And, hey, after you make your way through your haul, return your items to McKay’s for cash or store credit!

Infinity Flux

Comic book fans, this ones for you! Located a little ways down Hixson Pike and adjacent to fellow Chattanooga gem, Asian Food & Gifts, Infinity Flux is the place to go for all your comic book needs. Packed with superhero favorites from Marvel and DC, manga, and tabletop games like Dungeons and Dragons, you’re guaranteed to find what you need be it the latest new issue or back issues from years past. Infinity Flux prides itself on offering the best prices in town while also providing a fun environment for all shoppers, whether you’re new to a fandom or remember childhood nights spent reading the latest Batman issue with a flashlight under the covers. Want to get into Magic the Gathering or Flash but don’t know where to start? One of the passionate and friendly staffers would love to make you a recommendation, so stop on by and find your new favorite!

A Little Bookish store shelf with books and branded mug
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A Little Bookish

Prior to 2020, this quaint bookstore made its home in Ooltewah, but then Miranda Atkins, the owner, decided to really live up to its name and converted to a mobile bookstore! The mobile nature of the store had allowed Atkins to deepen her involvement in the community and A Little Bookish holds pop-ups all over the city! Look for the white van and the bright blue steps in your neighborhood or at the Chattanooga market!

Allgood’s Used Books & Coffee

In the heart of East Chattanooga on historic Glass St., Allgood’s Used Books & Coffee is a “great place to meet.” With a mission statement to “make a difference while being the difference in the community [they] serve,” Allgood’s aims to serve the East Chattanooga area by bridging the gap between literacy and knowledge, while serving a killer brew! Formerly an incorporated city until 1925, the once bustling business hub of East Chattanooga is returning to a vibrant community with Allgood’s at its center. Browse their collection of used books or sit and stay a while, relaxing or co-working in their cozy meeting space, and with a cafe stocked with plenty of coffee and delicious sandwich options, there’s no need to leave for lunch. Allgood’s hopes you’ll stay awhile and with a space as inviting and welcoming as this one, how could you not!

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