Critical Linking

Your Favorite Independent Bookshops: January 13, 2019

Sponsored by our Unusual Suspects giveaway of $100 to the bookstore of your choice!

Whether you like friendly staff or Bernard Black-types, beautiful shops or tiny treasure troves, here is a selection of your most loved bookshops around the world.

Start planning your round-the-world bookstore trip. Swoon!


Despite fear of a retail apocalypse, independent bookstores are thriving. Among the new shops opening is Café Con Libros, a feminist bookstore in Brooklyn owned by an Afro-Latinx woman. It’s possible Gumbs, Akinmowo, and Leggett will take the brick-and-mortar approach someday, too. But it’s just as likely that more mobile, radical operations like theirs will pop up around the country, each one offering its own unique take.

Black women are doing amazing things. This story about a pair creating a black feminist book mobile is just one example. 


Now the countless Lord of the Rings enthusiasts in America have their chance to behold the materials first-hand. The exhibition Tolkien: Maker of Middle-Earth, which runs from January 25th to May 12th of this year at New York’s Morgan Library and Museum, will assemble “the most extensive public display of original Tolkien material for several generations,” drawing from “the collections of the Tolkien Archive at the Bodleian Library (Oxford), Marquette University Libraries (Milwaukee), the Morgan, and private lenders.”

If you’re in NYC and a fan of Tolkein, go! Go! Go!