Raleigh, N.C. — As a life-long bookworm, I think there's nothing better than cracking open a brand new book and getting lost in a story. The library is great, and there are many used book stores I like to visit, but for this Five Faves installment, I decided to focus solely on independent, locally-owned book stores with new book selections.
This list wouldn't be complete without Quail Ridge Books & Music. The store has been a fixture for Raleigh readers since 1984, and they've kept the momentum with plenty of author events, a reader's club and a great selection of books. I particularly like the Southern literature and travel sections.
Even though the store has recently changed hands, things seem to be continuing as usual at Quail Ridge.
A new addition to the Triangle's literary scene is So & So Books in downtown Raleigh. The space is small and modern, and the focus is clearly on quality, not quantity. All of the novels, memoirs and books in the store come highly recommended from either the owners, Chris and Charles, or their friends. They also have a decent selection of poetry.
So & So features monthly book specials on their "book of the month," informal discussions of their book selections, and First Friday gatherings.
Chapel Hill's Flyleaf Books has a great selection of new (and used) books, but what struck me was their overwhelming number of staff recommendations. The spacious store is a great place to browse, and they have book discussions, author events and classes weekly.
McIntyre's Books in Pittsboro is worth the drive – Fearrington Village's book store is comfy and inviting with a Southern feel. The books are well-organized with handwritten staff recommendations mixed in. If you're a fan of mystery, drama or crime novels, you should check out their entire room dedicated to the genre. McIntyre's also hosts author events and readings every week.
Durham's independent book shop, The Regulator, fits in perfectly with the gritty, "Keep Durham Dirty" feel of the city. The industrial-looking shop, with exposed brick walls and shabby shelves, is a great place to browse for new and used books.
The Regulator has a good selection of books pertaining to the state and a decent-sized kid's section. They also sell books on their website, where New York Times bestsellers are 30 percent off!
What are your favorite places to pick up new books?