Cool Bookish Places

Bookstores You Can Rent For Date Nights and More

Gia R.

Staff Writer

Gia R. is from Phoenix, Arizona. She graduated with two business degrees. While studying, her short nonfiction story was published in 2018 in Write On, Downtown, an ASU journal. Since then, she taught preschool students abroad. Now back in AZ, you’ll find her writing, reading, and adoring digital art.

Like many readers, I’m a big fan of libraries, bookstores, and other bookish places. There’s something about being surrounded by rows and rows of books that creates a relaxing and inviting atmosphere. Is it the smell of books? Or the feeling of a physical book in my hand? Perhaps it’s the faint smell of coffee? Or maybe the cute bookish knick-knacks and goods for sale? Let’s be real. It’s probably a combination of all these reasons. Whatever reason you have for enjoying a bookish place, it doesn’t have to stop there. Well, at least not at these bookstores.

Did you know that you can rent out some bookstores to browse all by yourself? Have you ever considered having a little party at a bookstore? What about a date night? Want to read all night in a bookshop, but don’t know where you can do that?

I got you.

There are a few places where you can do many of these things. Pull out your travel bucket list and get ready to save these delightful bookshops.

Here are bookstores that allow you to privately browse, have a date night, host a small party, stay the night, and more!

Privately Browse

The Head and The Hand

The Head and The Hand is a bookstore and nonprofit publishing company in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Other than selling books, they do workshops, readings, and a variety of other events in the community.

You can privately browse the shelves of this lovely bookstore located in the Kensington neighborhood. You can reserve 30 minutes to browse all you want in groups of four or less. A team member will be there to answer questions and handle your transactions. Oh and you get 15% off your purchase. There’s no cost to reserve, but making a purchase during your reservation is encouraged! During your 30 minutes slot, no drinking or eating are allowed and a mask must be worn. 

Take your experience a step further with their date night option!

Date Night

The Head and The Hand also offers an option to have date night at their bookstore! You can privately browse with one other person as well as enjoy food and drink. A complimentary drink of wine or beer is provided, but no food. You can bring your own food to nibble on during your date. The bookstore team members set up a romantic seating area with a table, two chairs, a flameless candle, and a curated playlist. That’s right! They’ll make a playlist just for you and your date based on your top 3 bands!

You’ll also get your pick of one of the books that The Head and The Hand publishes. It’s a perfect gift for yourself or your date. Honestly, what’s a better gift than a book? Take a look at some of the books they publish here

With date night, you can enjoy the bookstore ambience for 90 or 120 minutes. Like the private browsing option, you get a discount on your transaction during your date. You are also required to wear a mask when not drinking or eating.

This could be a fun date night with your partner or a friend!

The Head and The Hand has had many couples enjoy a date at their bookstore. They even posted about a couple who celebrated their anniversary at the bookstore. How did the couple first meet? You’ll never guess…

Books, love, and romance. Don’t they all go well together?

To book the store for date night or private browsing, go to The Head and The Hand website

Like the idea, but want a different mood or experience? 

Enter: Visible Voice Books Create-Your-Own Night In The Bookstore

Host a Small Party

Visible Voice Books

Visible Voice Books is a really cool bookstore and café located in Cleveland, Ohio. In addition to books, they have a variety of literary goods, coffee, wine, beer, pastries, and tea. They also have a local pizza joint in the same building.

Honestly, what can be better than a good book and a glass of wine?

Well, maybe a pizza party!

Visible Voice Books offers a Create-Your-Own Night in their bookstore where you can browse the bookstore, enjoy pizza, and sip on wine or other beverages with your friends. Groups of up to 8 friends are allowed for this 90 minute experience. Masks are required when not drinking or eating.

Recently, they’ve added a brunch option so instead of pizza and wine, you can enjoy pastries, coffee, and mimosas!

To reserve and explore their options, check out the Visible Voice Books website.  

If you’re like me and want to go across the globe and stay the day AND night in a comfy bookish oasis, there’s also a bookstore for that!

Stay the Night

Tsutaya Book Apartment

Located in the busy streets of Shinjuku, the Tsutaya Book Apartment is a cozy bookish paradise where you can read all day and night,

It’s got books, outlets, reading nooks, comfy spaces to read, places to work, showers, and private booths!

And it’s open 24 hours a day!

This cute establishment in Tokyo occupies three floors. The fourth floor is a great space to work on projects, study, and get work done. The fifth floor is a common area filled with pillows, blankets, and hammocks modeled after the trendy glamping style. It also has restrooms and showers for those enjoying a longer stay at the book apartment. The sixth floor is a women-only area with private booths and dressing tables.

You can purchase books and other goods like stationary in their reception area. In the same building, there’s a cool sake bar in the basement.

Depending on your plans, you can stay for a couple hours or all day and night. All you have to do is pay for the time you’re there. They offer a 6-hour and 12-hour package. Otherwise, you can pay by the hour.  There are also added fees to use the women’s only floor, showers, lounge wear, and private booths. 

Depending on where you stay in Tokyo, it can get expensive. This book apartment offers a lot of services in a fun and less expensive shared space. Check out the Tsutaya Book Apartment website for more information.

For more details and pictures, check out this Lifestyle article.

Keep in the mind that these are all shared spaces so some of the services may have changed due to the current health situation. 

On top of staying the night at a bookish paradise, you can also run one…in Scotland!

Run a Bookstore

The Open Book

Image from airbnb:

The Open Book is a delightful bookstore in Wigtown, Scotland. On Airbnb, it offers a bookish holiday where you can stay in the apartment above and run the bookstore for several days. 

As far as running the bookshop goes, it’s up to you. You can organize the books how you want and pick your own prices! The Open Book has a nice variety of books on history, gardening, fiction, politics, travel, and art! Also, amidst the current pandemic, The Open Book is open with the necessary PPE and gives guests the option to open and operate the bookstore or not.

This lovely bookshop is located in Wigtown, AKA “Scotland’s National Book Town.” That means your bookish adventures don’t have to end with your stay at The Open Book. In fact, Wigtown has a long list of bookish activities and places to visit. It even has a 10-day book festival each year that includes guest speakers and events for all ages. I’m not sure if I’ve heard of a more magical place.

The Open Book’s unique experience is very popular and is often booked up for months in advance. If you’re interested in planning your own bookish getaway in the future, take a look and book fast!

Many people have covered their experience as a bookstore owner at this lovely shop in Wigtown, including one of our Book Rioters. Read about it in That Airbnb Bookshop In Wigtown, Scotland? Reader, I Ran It.

Well, there you have it! There are bookstores that offer a bit of everything, from private browsing and pizza parties to staying the night and running the shop yourself.

Now the only question left is…What will you read when you visit these places?

For more bookish fun, you can check out this list of Literary Airbnbs and other Cool Bookish Places articles.