The Best U.S. Cities for Book Lovers

by Benjamin Kerns

Jan 12, 2019

bookstore © Tinamou |

Tips / Travel

The United States has produced some of the best writers in the world. Book lovers from all over the world travel there to catch a glimpse of the cities that inspired the likes of Hemingway, Edgar Allan Poe and Sylvia Plath. If you’re a voracious reader, here are a few cities you might want to check out.


Iowa City

Iowa City might not be the largest destination on the list, but it’s the only one declared a UNESCO City of Literature. The college town produced an impressive number of Pulitzer Prize winners, many of whom now teach at the University of Iowa. The town is also somewhat famous for Prairie Lights, a multifloor bookstore that holds a wide collection.



The capital of Texas is typically associated with music, but locals know it also holds an impressive number of independent bookstores and literary events. The city hosts the annual Texas Book Festival, and is also home to the Harry Ransom Center, where you’ll find dozens of literary collections. If you’re looking for a place to shop, check out BookPeople, a local staple for more than 15 years.



Boston is the birthplace of many famous writers and was once home to both Jack Kerouac and Sylvia Plath. Home of the renowned Boston Public Library, there are seemingly bookshops around every corner of the city. Coupled with the beautiful, historic architecture, the city is the perfect place to fall into a great read or perhaps create one of your own.


Los Angeles

The glitz and glamour of Hollywood might be the first thing that comes to mind when thinking of the City of Angels, but Los Angeles is actually a book lover’s paradise. It houses the largest selection of independent bookstores in the nation. Every fall it’s also host to the LA Times Festival of Books, the largest literary festival in the United States.


New Orleans

New Orleans has a storied history of producing some incredible Gothic literature and was once home to greats like Anne Rice and William Faulkner. The annual New Orleans Literary Festival is a wonderful event that combines literary and theatrical performances primarily honoring the late Tennessee Williams. It’s also home to Faulkner House Books, one of the oldest and most charming bookstores around.


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