From First Editions to Mystical Books, NJ’s Independent Book Stores Have It All

Photo Courtesy of Pixabay

E-readers might be ubiquitous and bookstores a dying breed, but here in New Jersey the independent book store is thankfully alive and well.

Independent bookstores are often bursting with literary treasures, offering one-of-a kind items like rare and collectible books. Also, local bookstores are more than just a place to purchase books: they are often the heart of a community, where people come together to meet and talk, hear author discussions, attend special events and commune with their fellow lovers of the printed word.

New Jersey is full of independent bookstores where you’ll find used and specialty books not available in run-of-the mill bookstore chains. Here’s our list:


The Bookworm has a friendly and helpful staff. They leave reviews on pieces of paper in the many books that they’ve read. Bookworm hosts author appearances and book signings. (908) 766-4599 – 99 Claremont Road, Bernardsville, NJ 07924


The Book Trader has been operating for almost 40 years (in other towns and now Clark). They buy paperbacks and sometimes hardcovers (until they are published as paperbacks). The Book Trader boasts a large selection of pre-owned paperbacks in many genres. The friendly staff will note books that you want and notify you when they arrive. (732) 381-2665 – 73 Westfield Ave, Clark, NJ 07066

ANT Book Store & Cafe , Photo Courtesy of ANT Book Store


ANT Bookstore & Café stocks books that appeal to its community by carrying books written in different languages. The cafe has freshly baked pastries and international desserts. ANT offers a tranquil setting in which to read. Events include Poetry Readings, Book Signings, Musical Performances, Book Club conversations, and more. (973) 777-2704 – 345 Clifton Ave, Clifton, NJ 07011

Footnotes Bookstore & Learning Center carries new and pre-owned books. (973) 779-61221051 Bloomfield Ave, Clifton, NJ 07012

The Curious Reader, Photo Courtesy of The Curious Reader

Glen Rock

The Curious Reader is a unique children’s bookstore with author appearances and staff picks. Curious Reader has programs to discount books for schools and to fundraise for books for schools.  (201) 444-1918 – 229 Rock Rd, Glen Rock, NJ 07452

Little City Books, Photo Courtesy of Little City Books


Little City Books has a large selection of many genres of books including a gorgeous selection of picture books. They host many author visits and have a new Children’s Annex. Dog friendly. (201) 626-READ – 100 Bloomfield Street, Hoboken, NJ 07030

Symposia Bookstore, Photo Courtesy of Symposia Bookstore

Symposia Community Book Store in Hoboken is a non-profit book store that supports community education and charity. They host author appearances and signings. Symposia also supports new artists and new community projects with thrift store income. (201) 963-0909 – 510 Washington St, Hoboken, NJ 07030

WORD Jersey City, Photo Courtesy of WORD Jersey City

Jersey City

WORD Jersey City strives to be “whatever our communities need us to be!” They carry old and new favorite books of all genres. Their onsite café offers coffee, salads, sandwiches, and pastries. WORD hosts a full calendar of events each month. (201) 763-6611 – 123 Newark Avenue, Jersey City, NJ 07302


Mystical World  is the home to 1,000 new, old, bestselling, and non-fiction metaphysical books. Topics include Holistic health, personal growth, psychic abilities, and spirituality. They have a collection of books for 2-7 year olds and many books in Spanish. Aura photos and reports, meditation CDs, oils, candles, crystals, and incense are also in stock. Mystical World also hosts fascinating classes, workshops, and events. (201) 896-3999 – 648 Ridge Rd, Lyndhurst, NJ 07071


The Chatham Bookseller in Madison has been operating for over 40 years. Their inventory is comprised of “good” literature and art and scholarly books of many topics. They specialize in rare books, first editions, ephemera, and classic and jazz CDs. They provide book searches and appraisals. The Chatham Bookseller buys and sells used books and ephemera. (973) 822-1361 – 8 Green Village Rd, Madison, NJ 07940

Short Stories Bookshop, Photo Courtesy of Short Stories

Short Stories Bookshop & Community Hub showcases leading authors and supports local talent through “community events, music jams, open mics, classes, workshops, book clubs, and art exhibits.“ They also have a corner piano, blackboard, and magnet walls with which visitors can express themselves. (973) 845-6086 – 23 Main St, Madison, NJ 07940


[words] Bookstore offers a comfortable and welcoming atmosphere, a wide selection of books, and guest author speakers. They are also dedicated to families in the community who have a member with a developmental disability. They model inclusion by employing disabled people and warmly welcoming disabled customers, especially people with autism. (973) 763-9500 – 2509, 179 Maplewood Ave, Maplewood, NJ 07040


Montclair Book Center Montclair Opened in 1984. Featuring classic literature, popular fiction, and collector’s items. They purchase used books and also sell vinyl records and CDs. (973) 783-3630 – 221 Glenridge Avenue, Montclair, NJ 07042

Watchung Booksellers Their motto is “Where authors meet their public, friends meet each other, and all find good books.”  Their inventory includes literary fiction, biography/memoir, and history. Watchung offers a large section of travel, education, poetry, and the arts. They also have a children’s area and a teen’s book section.  (973) 744-7177  – 54 Fairfield Street, Watchung Plaza, Montclair, NJ 07042

Source of Knowledge Book Store, Photo Courtesy of Source of Knowledge Book Store


Source of Knowledge Book Store carries cultural and historical books by African American authors. They host author lectures and events. Framed pictures, masks, DVDs, and other items are for sale. The warm and friendly staff is very helpful. (973) 824-2556 – 867 Broad Street, Newark, NJ 07102

Aly Reisman at Books & Greetings, Photo Courtesy of Books & Greetings


Books & Greetings offers many author signing events (including some big celebrities). They carry books, cards, toys, and gifts. (201) 784-2665 – 271 Livingston St, Northvale, NJ 07647

Black Dog Books, Photo Courtesy of Black Dog Books


Black Dog Books is an indie bookstore that offers lots of special events and has a fantastic selection of books including children’s books and young adult titles. (201) 230-3900 – 188 Spring St, Newton, NJ 07860


Bookends has been operating for 32 years. They have hosted over 1,000 authors in the last 15 years. If you can’t attend a book signing they will take your order over the phone. (201) 445-0726  – 211 East Ridgewood Ave.  Ridgewood, NJ

Sparta Township

Sparta Books was founded in1965. Sparta books carries literary fiction, non-fiction, history, travel, education, and a large children’s section. Books are carefully chosen to reflect their customers and community. They host author signings and children events. (973) 729-6200- 29 Center Street, Sparta Township, NJ 07871


Brier Rose Books has a huge selection of used and rare books from vintage (1800s) to current. Great prices. Recommended by bookworms. They purchase books. Helpful owner. (201) 836-5500 – 450 Cedar Lane, Teaneck, NJ 07666

Here’s The Story Books, Photo Courtesy of Here’s The Story


Here’s the Story Books has been selling books and videos since 1995. Large selection of best sellers and children’s books. They host book signings. The friendly owner offers personal service. They also carry DVDs. (908) 688-2665 – 1043 Stuyvesant Ave, Union, NJ 07083.


Town Book Store in Westfield opened in 1934. Town is the last independent bookstore in Union County. They promise first-rate literacy and friendly and personalized service. Employees will match you up with whatever genre book you are searching for: knowledge, comfort, or pleasure. (908) 233-3535 –  270 E Broad St, Westfield, NJ 07090

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