We’ve been bringing you the latest in virtual book and literary festivals, but did you know independent bookshops across the country are offering online programming throughout the year? Here are 28 from coast to coast that have virtual author talks, readings, and book clubs that you can enjoy from wherever you are.


McNally Jackson (New York, NY)

Bookselling is in founder Sarah McNally’s blood: her parents used to own the Canadian bookstore chain, McNally Robinson. Now McNally runs this NYC indie bookstore (which she opened in 2004 with then-husband Christopher Jackson) with locations in Nolita, Williamsburg, the South Street Seaport, and downtown Brooklyn, and a robust schedule of author readings and talks.

The Strand (New York, NY)

Founded in 1927, the nearly 100-year-old Strand is a New York City icon. Carrying over 2.5 million used, new, and rare books, it also offers tons of writerly events.

Books Are Magic (Brooklyn, NY)

Author Emma Straub and husband, designer Michael Fusco-Straub, founded this lovely shop in 2017. While open for browsing and pick up, they’re offering storytimes, readings, and talks via Zoom. See their whole schedule.

Brookline Booksmith (Brookline, MA)

Established in 1961, Brookline Booksmith is one of New England's premier independent bookstores. All of their events are virtual until further notice and include author talks, panel discussions, book launches, and more.

Harvard Book Store (Cambridge, MA)

The Cambridge landmark has been around since 1932. Independently run (and not associated with Harvard University), it offers plenty of both free and ticketed virtual author events.

East City Bookshop (Washington, D.C.)

Located in our nation’s capital, the East City Bookshop has been around since 2016. Their online events include author talks and a variety of fun book clubs, including the Saturday Supper Club, in which participants share dishes prepared from the selected cookbook; W(h)ine and Angst, for 21-and-over readers who still love Young Adult books (and drinking wine while discussing them); and Reading with Rory, in which Gilmore Girl enthusiasts read through the 339 books Rory is depicted reading throughout the series.


Volumes (Chicago, IL)

Founded by two book-loving sisters, Volumes has two locations in Chicago. They host online author talks and book clubs as well as weekly and monthly online events including storytime for children, open mic nights, comedy showcases.

The Book Cellar (Chicago, IL)

Only better than an indie bookstore is one with a punny name. The Book Cellar has been around since 2004 and currently offers browsing by appointment. They also have plenty of online author and reader events, including several book clubs that meet virtually about once a month.

Gramercy Books (Bexley, OH)

This charming bookshop founded by author Linda Kass offers weekly online events including author talks, poetry readings, and book clubs.

Literati Bookstore (Ann Arbor, MI)

Founded by Mike and Hilary Gustafson, the Literati Bookstore is temporarily closed for browsing but open for curbside pickup. You can also can shop and enjoy their events online, including their At Home with Literati author series and Virtual Off-Sites, seminars and workshops presented in partnership with the University of Michigan and the Dearborn Public Library.

Boswell Book Company (Milwaukee, WI)

The Boswell Book Company first opened its doors in 2009 and has been going strong ever since. Open for browsing, you can enjoy their author talks and other events from home.


Square Books (Oxford, MS)

Founded in 1979, Square Books is “an independent bookstore in three buildings on the historic town square of Oxford, Mississippi.” They have four locations within the town square, including one specializing in children’s books. They also have many online author and book events.

BookPeople (Austin, TX)

Established more than 50 years ago, BookPeople is the largest independent bookstore in Texas and has been voted Best Bookstore in Austin for over 20 years. It’s open for curbside pickup and browsing (masks are still required) and offers plenty of virtual author events and bookclubs.

Malvern Books (Austin, TX)

Malvern Books specializes “in visionary literature and poetry from independent publishers, with a focus on lesser-known and emerging voices.” Its virtual events (scroll to the bottom of the homepage to find the calendar) includes author readings, book launches, and book clubs.

Blue Willow Bookshop (Houston, TX)

This family-run store opened in 1996 and has become West Houston’s favorite bookshop. Their virtual programming includes author talks, book launches, and book clubs.

Murder by the Book (Houston, TX)

One of the oldest and largest mystery specialty bookstores in the U.S., Murder by the Book was established in 1980 by Martha Farrington and purchased by McKenna Jordan in 2009. They offer many free and ticketed virtual events as well as a fun “Murder By the Box” subscription.

Changing Hands Bookstore (Tempe/Phoenix, AZ)

Changing Hands has been open since 1974 and is Arizona's leading independent bookstore. Its virtual programming includes author readings and talks, book clubs, and workshops and classes. Check out their whole calendar.

The Poisoned Pen Bookstore (Scottsdale, AZ)

Founded in 1989, the Poisoned Pen Bookstore specializes in mystery, thrillers, historical and literary fiction, and literature of the American Southwest. In addition to its online author events, the shop also hosts a podcast.


Powell’s (Portland, OR)

No indie bookstore list would be complete without Powell’s. Established in 1971, the shop is run by third-generation owner Emily Powell and has three locations in Portland. Their virtual events feature authors from all over the world.

Annie Bloom’s Books (Portland, OR)

Annie Bloom’s Books first opened over 40 years ago. They offer new books in fiction, children’s/young adult, travel, current events, and cooking, as well as magazines, art supplies, puzzles, and “a fabulous selection of cards.” Also don’t miss their online events.

The Elliott Bay Book Company (Seattle, WA)

This beautiful store opened its doors in 1973. In addition to over 150,000 titles, they offer book groups and many online author talks.

Third Place Books (Seattle, WA)

Founded in 1998, Third Place Books now has three locations in Seattle. Check out their book clubs and virtual events.


City Lights (San Francisco, CA)

Founded in 1953 by legendary poet Lawrence Ferlinghetti and professor and publisher Peter D. Martin, City Lights was the nation’s first all-paperback bookstore and is now an official San Francisco landmark. It also hosts weekly virtual events “with authors from across the publishing world.”

Green Apple Books

Green Apple Books was established in 1967 and now has three locations throughout San Francisco. Check out their virtual events calendar.

Book Soup (Los Angeles, CA)

Located on the Sunset Strip, Book Soup has been open since 1975. It offers over
60,000 titles, specializing in art, film, photography, music, and literary fiction, and now features online author events several times a month.

Skylight Books (Los Angeles, CA)

Skylight Books first opened its doors in 1996. They’re a general bookstore with a curated selection of literary fiction, graphic novels, children’s books, California history and culture, political and social sciences, essays and nonfiction, and books on art, photography, film, and music. Their virtual events are also available in podcast form.

{pages} (Manhattan Beach, CA)

Founded in 2010 by three book-loving friends, {pages} offers new fiction, non-fiction, children’s, cooking, surf, coffee table books and bestsellers. They host online author events throughout the month as well as virtual book club meetings.