There is so much going on in New Orleans on any given weekend that it can seem nearly impossible to decide what to do. This is the tenth edition of a weekly series in which we here at Big Easy Magazine give suggestions on fun ways to spend a day, evening or afternoon in our beloved city. So let’s begin! What’s a good way to spend a weekend in New Orleans? Get out of the heat and into the air-conditioned goodness of one of New Orleans charming, locally owned bookstores.
The weather in New Orleans is known for being tempermental, but whether you’re getting out of the heat or getting out of the rain, get yourself into a locally owned bookstore for a relaxing and inspiring ambiance you won’t find anywhere else. Whether you’re relaxing at the Riverbend, hanging out in the Lower Garden District, chilling in Midcity, or even exploring the French Quarter, there are local new and used bookstores in every neighborhood. I won’t try to list them all in this brief piece, but I will list my top five!
If you find yourself in the French Quarter, you cannot miss the chance to spend some time in Faulkner House Books. They call themselves “A sanctuary for fine literature.” And indeed they are. This bookstore holds many older and rare books, but also boasts an impressive collection of new poetry! Their poetry collection is one of the best in the city. This shop, located at 624 Pirate’s Alley, just off of Jackson Square, is a great sanctuary not only for books but also for you. Step in and get out of the hustle and bustle of the French Quarter next time you’re in the neighborhood.
In the Uptown area, both the lower Garden District as well as further uptown, there are two independent bookstores worth your time. The first I’ll mention is Octavia Books. This is the place to go to meet local authors and attend book signings. Located at the corner of Laurel Street and Octavia street, you can check out their schedule of upcoming book signings here! The next shop that’s worth a mention is the Garden District Book Shop. Located in a building called “the Rink,” at the corner of Washington Avenue and Prytania Street, this bookstore holds many signed editions and local authors. If you’re not sure what to read, just check out their staff favorites for inspiration!
If you’re in Midcity, there is one unique bookstore that cannot be missed. This is Tubby and Coo’s Mid City Book Shop. Located at 631 North Carrolton Avenue, they call themselves a “Nerd Mecca” on their website, and for good reason. Not only is there a decent selection of books, there are also a great many board games of varying styles for sale. If you’re going about your day with children, or if you’d just like to satisfy your inner child, Tubby and Coo’s is a must see.
The final shop that I’ll mention is one that I had touched on in the first edition of this series, “An Oak Street Stroll.” Blue Cypress Books is a local favorite. Located at 8126 Oak Street, this locally owned independent bookstore both buys and sells used books. With a selection ranging from a plethora of rare books from over a century ago to a great deal of new books by local Authors of fiction, nonfiction, and poetry, this store truly has it all. Their website says that they are “giving used books a second chance on Oak Street.” Nothing could be truer. Whether you have books to sell or are looking to add to your collection. Blue Cypress is a must for your bookstore experience in New Orleans.
Whatever you end up doing this weekend, no matter which independent bookstore you decide to stop by, don’t forget to keep on drinking water! Be kind! Be New Orleans! Take the time to check out a few of our most recent articles, like this piece on the Coffee Industry in our city, or this piece on Demario Davis! If you have thoughts on this piece, be sure to comment, or if you just have thoughts on living and working in this city that you want to share, feel free to contribute to our blog! Lastly, don’t forget to check out the events section on our website for many other good ideas on how to get the most out of your weekend.