When coming to New Orleans, restaurants, live music, and festivals may top your to-do list. But in every part of the city, independent bookstores offer a reprieve from the hustle and bustle of city life. Browse the book shops below for the latest and greatest in new releases, with a focus on local authors and hidden finds.

Photo courtesy of Baldwin & Co.
Baldwin and Co. Books

Baldwin & Co.

The place where creators go to create, Baldwin & Co. is a local-and-Black-owned bookstore in the Marigny. The bookstore contains many titles from Black authors across all genres. Stop by and order a coffee or tea, then head outdoors to the attached courtyard for some relaxation. Baldwin & Co., named for famed author James Baldwin, also regularly hosts book events and signings featuring Black authors. Their podcast recording studio is available to rent as well.

Zack Smith
Blue Cypress

Blue Cypress Books

Tucked away on Oak Street in the Riverbend, Blue Cypress is an independent, woman-owned bookstore that offers new and used books, as well as games, stickers, pins, and other knick-knacks. Head in for an author event, join a book club, or stop by to visit bookstore kitty, the resident cat at Blue Cypress. Bring in books to trade for store credit or cash. You never know what you’ll find in their used book collection; Blue Cypress also has all the latest new releases.

Octavia Books

Located in a quiet, residential part of Uptown New Orleans a few blocks off of Magazine Street, Octavia Books is a local, independently owned bookstore with new releases. They often host book events for both adults and children. Their bi-monthly newsletter showcases their book clubs and exciting new releases across genres.

Lauren Saizan
Garden District Book Shop

Garden District Book Shop

If you’re ever on an architecture tour of the Garden District, you may find yourself stopping at The Rink on Prytania Street. Formerly an ice rink and now a shopping center, Garden District Books is easy to wander into and end up spending hours browsing. Local authors are on full display at this uniquely New Orleans bookstore. Events frequently bring booklovers to the store, and you can even grab a cocktail or a glass of wine in their cozy adjoining bar area.

Lauren Saizan, NOTMC

Community Book Center

This Black-owned bookstore is located on historic Bayou Road. With a 37-year history and a commitment to showcasing Black authors, Community Book Center is more of a cultural experience than just your average book shop. They frequently partner with the community for events and sells art, fabric, and gifts. 

Image courtesy of Tubby & Coo’s
Tubby & Coo's Traveling Book Shop

Tubby & Coo’s Traveling Book Shop

Tubby & Coo’s curates pocket bookstores inside inclusive spaces with the goal of building and engaging community and providing spaces to imagine and create new realities. Tubby & Coo’s is a queer, liberationist, decentralized independent bookshop focused on uplifting underrepresented voices, especially trans, queer, and BIPOC authors. Currently, you can find this traveling book shop parked at HI-BALLZ/Plant Ally Café and The Good Shop. They’re also working on a plan to introduce Little Free Queer Libraries around town. Follow their Instagram here for the latest.

Faulkner House Books

Located in the French Quarter right by Jackson Square, Faulkner House Books is a sanctuary for fine literature and rare editions, including, of course, books by and about William Faulkner. In business since 1988, its central location puts Faulkner House Books at the top of many visitor’s itineraries.

Photo courtesy of Frenchmen Art & Books
Frenchmen Art & Books

Frenchmen Art & Books

Independently owned and operated since 1976, Frenchmen Art & Books is located amongst the music clubs of bustling Frenchmen Street. Lots of literature line the walls, along with cookbooks, coloring books, tote bags, magnets, and the like. The shop has an emphasis on local authors as well as many books by queer and BIPOC authors. Do yourself a favor and stop in next time you visit the French Quarter.

Image courtesy of Crescent City Comics
Crescent City Comics

Crescent City Comics

Comic book lovers should flock to Crescent City Comics, which boasts a great selection of superhero and other popular comics. They also frequently host comic-related events.