bookstores in charlottesville

Local Bookstores in Charlottesville

In Things To Do In Charlottesville by Tammy Brown

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There’s just something about walking into a tiny mom-and-pop bookstore that instantly makes you feel at home. The comforting smell of paper wafting from the pages of books old and new, the organized chaos of the shelves, and a friendly face behind the counter are what make bookstores so special. The experience of shopping at a small locally owned bookstore is very different than browsing the aisles at a major retailer.

Barnes & Noble may have a wide variety of books, but local bookstores are intimate and quaint. Local bookstores are dedicated to fiction lovers, poetry enthusiasts, sci-fi junkies, and everything in between. The owners are just as passionate about book as you, which is something you feel in the atmosphere of a local bookstore.  

Here are a few local bookstores in Charlottesville to visit the next time you are looking for a good book.

New Dominion Bookshop

This adorable little bookshop is located on the historic Downtown Mall. While many of the local bookstores in Charlottesville cell used books, New Dominion sells new books. As the oldest independent bookseller in Virginia,  there’s an antique charm about the place. Since 1924, the bookshop has been known for their personalized service and curated collections. Open seven days a week, stop by New Dominion Bookshop and peruse new books ranging from children’s literature to gardening resources.

New Dominion Bookstop storefront in the Downtown Charlottesville Mall. Photo by New Dominion Bookshop via Instagram.

Daedalus Bookshop

As you step into the Daedalus Bookshop right off the Downtown Mall, you enter into a three-floor book wonderland filled with over 100,000 books. With windy staircases, lined with shelves upon shelves of books, one can certainly spend an entire day going through the thousand of books scattered across the store. Although the store specializes in fiction, they also have out-of-print books too. If you’re searching for a unique or hard-to-find book, you may just find it stuffed on a shelf in the corner or tucked away in a pile. You never know what hidden treasure you may find in the maze of books.

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Staircase within Daedalus Bookshop in downtown Charlottesville, VA. Photo by Kaylah Rodriguez via Instagram.

Blue Whale Books

Also on the Downtown Mall, Blue Whale Books sells used books, including rare editions. In addition to books, Blue Whale Books also sells fine art prints and antiquarian maps. Although Blue Whale Books has a heavy focus on art and scholarly books, there are books in a variety of subject matters. You can also find out-of-print books as well if you are looking for something specific. Since 1994, this local bookstore in Charlottesville has been a magnet for avid readers, art lovers, and map enthusiasts.

Blue Whale Books storefront in the Downtown Charlottesville Mall. Photo by _d.miller_ via Instagram.

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