Instagram This: Indie Bookstores You Must Visit

Instagram This: Indie Bookstores You Must Visit

Bookshops in all corners of the planet, united by their love of the word, well-curated shelves and a killer Instagram game

Bhavika Govil
January 22 , 2019
14 Min Read

Here's a public service announcement that is bound to make you happy: physical bookstores are alive, more than ever. An article I read recently brought to my attention the fact that Instagram has actually increased indie bookstore sales, and reading challenges have made books cool again (although we contest that like all things timeless, they can never go out of fashion). 

Here is a non-biased but definitely personal list of indie bookstores over the world we love. Visit, read and don't forget to share your book recommendation on Instagram. 


Books Are Magic, Brooklyn

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Happy Indie Bookstore Day!! ðŸÂÂ’–ðŸÂÂ’– Thanks to everyone visiting today, its so fun to celebrate BOOKS with you!! |📷: @bellegaijin #indiebookstoreday #indiebookstoredaynyc #booksaremagic #bkbookstorecrawl #bookstagram #bookstore #bookstoresaremagic

A post shared by Books Are Magic (@booksaremagicbk) on Apr 28, 2018 at 3:10pm PDT

In 2017, Brooklyn’s homey neighbourhood, Cobble Hill was going to be bookstore-less were it not for Novelist Emma Straub. She, along with her husband, Michael Fusco-Straub, decided to open her own independent bookstore, Books Are Magic. Like any good bookshop, they have beautiful books, and fantastic shelves, staff recommendations and, reading corners and literal hole-in-the-wall seats to read inside. Our favourite part? The utterly Instagrammable mural outside their shop that screams, ‘Books Are Magic’—a sentiment with which we 100 per cent agree.

Follow them on Instagram here.

The Last Bookstore, LA 

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This place makes me feel like I’m a Hogwarts student book shopping at Flourish & Blotts in Diagon Alley and holy Hermione - it brings me SUCH joy!! 🏰⚡ï¸ÂðŸ“š #thelastbookstore #dtla #potterhead #nerdingout #iwantallthebooks

A post shared by Emily âÂÂÂœÂÂŒ🏻ï¸Â (@missbicks) on Jan 19, 2019 at 7:25pm PST

At The Last Bookstore in Los Angeles, you can walk inside a tunnel built of paperbacks, as long as you don’t try to pull out your favourite copy. This independent bookstore buys, sells and trade in secondhand books and vinyl and have a large selection of book, rare, new, used and loved. Apart from the tunnel of books, they have photo ops to appeal to every book-lover: a pile of books with a circular cut out, a wall with angel wings made of books and hipster tungsten lights. Save it for your next time in California.

Follow them here.

Littered with Books

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One can never have enough socks," said Dumbledore. "Another Christmas has come and gone and I didn't get a single pair. People will insist on giving me books.” (spot the remnants of Christmas tinsel we’re still not ready to remove) âÂÂÂœ¨âÂÂÂœ¨ . . #litteredwithbooks #litteredwithbookssingapore #igreads #sgreads #mysterybooks #fiction #independentbookstore #duxtonroad #booklovers #bookrecommendations #bookstagram #bookshelves #readingnook #readabook #harrypotter

A post shared by Littered With Books (@litteredwithbooks) on Dec 26, 2018 at 1:32am PST

Perhaps the most well-curated store in Singapore, Littered with Books is a literary gem located on Duxton Road. This two-storey bookshop has gorgeous books, faux trees with book suggestions hanging from them, and a crime books section with a ‘Do Not Touch’ tape slapped across it—what’s not to love? When I visited, I walked back with a delicious copy of Heartburn by Nora Ephron, a to-savour Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close by Jonathan Saffran Foer and then a slightly forgettable book by Milan Kundera: all personal favourites of the staff. My only feedback would be to add more diversity in authors.

Follow them here

The Bookshop, New Delhi

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A post shared by The Bookshop, Jor Bagh Market (@_thebookshopjb) on Nov 6, 2018 at 5:14am PST

Often called the cosiest bookstore in India, The Bookshop in Delhi has many reasons not to visit it, if you so wish—it’s too far, you could say. Or it’s tinier than a matchbox, you could complain, or perhaps even exalt the qualities of online delivery over a physical visit to a bookshop. You could do all of these things, but you’d be doing yourself the greatest disservice, for The Bookshop is a wonderland. Discover the most beautiful titles, often out of print but mysteriously on their shelves, talk to the book-lovers who run it and don’t forget to meet the cat on the way out.

Follow them on Instagram here.

Libreria Acqua Alta, Venice

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• Beautiful views of Venice •

A post shared by Marco Armentano (@jansmarken) on Jan 2, 2018 at 10:32am PST

Have you heard of the Libreria Acqua Alta in Venice? Even if it is not the most well-organised bookshop in the world, it certainly is the most interesting. The name of the shop when translated to English means ‘high water’, and pays ode to the flooding waters of Venice. Dusty books spill out from all corners in this shop, emerge from bathtubs (which have purely a practical reason), and creep into indoor gondolas, ores included.

Follow them here to follow the escapades on Instagram. 

Chapter 101, New Delhi

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Welcome to our world! (3/3) A specially curated concept bookstore, Chapter 101 is a haven for those with refined taste, old world aesthetics, and a 21st century mindset. Drop by to check out our collection of rare and first edition books, the coffee is free and the rugs are warm. Find us at 101D, First Floor, South Point Mall on Golf Course Road, Gurgaon. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . #Bookshop #LittleBlackBook #SoDelhi #Bibliophile #Vintage #RareBooks #FirstEditions #Den #Colonial #Retro #Logo #Books #BookLovers #ReadingClub #ReadersOfInstagram #WritersOfInstagram #BookClub #InstaWorld #Discover

A post shared by Chapter101 (@chapter101store) on Jan 29, 2017 at 9:14pm PST

Would you expect a sanitized, sterile mall with *insert name* coffee shop and *insert name* clothing brand to be a treasure trove of books? We wouldn’t, but it is in such an establishment that we found Chapter 101. This wooden-panelled bookstore has all but paperbacks on its shelves. Instead, they have hardbound editions of rare books; copies that you’ll want to look at and admire, and then perhaps, read. 

Follow them here

Lutyens and Rubenstein, London

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David Bowie’s favourite 100 books (and his son, Duncan Jones’ book club) have inspired the display under our window this week.

A post shared by Lutyens & Rubinstein Bookshop (@landrbookshop) on Jan 22, 2018 at 8:34am PST

People who call books ‘necessities’ are our favourite kind of people. And therefore it should be no wonder that we have the Lutyens and Rubenstein bookshop in London on our wishlist. Run by a literary agency, the eponymous store invites you in with its piano-key coloured awning and then lets its gorgeous collection of books for all ages do the talking. And anyhow, you can’t miss the paper lanterns made of printed pages from books. They are, on all accounts, illuminating.

Take a further look here.

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