Best Bookstores in Virginia

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Best Bookstores in Virginia 1

Looking for bookstores in Virginia? Look no further. In this article, we’ve collected information about brick-and-mortar bookstores in Virginia—the ones that sell and buy back new and used books and college bookstores specializing in textbooks. Tune in!

We’re positive you’ve heard about some of the most famous bookstores in New York (e.g., The Strand or Greenlight), Los Angeles, or Boston, as well as such stores as Arizona Changing Hands bookstore. However, you need to live in one or all of these places to go there and enjoy the atmosphere. If you live in or just moved to Virginia, you need information on local bookstores—especially if you prefer doing things the old-school way and visiting bookstores is one of your favorite pastimes. That’s why we’ve compiled a list of local bookstores in Arlington and Virginia for avid readers and book lovers.

Virginia College Bookstores

According to the website, Virginia is home to 39 public four-year and graduate schools, 100 private four-year and graduate institutions, and 23 community colleges. Which means there’s a demand for textbooks. So, in the first part of our article, we’re covering a few college bookstores. For a complete list of campus bookstores, you can check the BookScouter campus bookstores page—with the addresses and direct website links—it’s a real treasure.

Forty-three of Virginia’s college and university bookstores are operated by Follett Higher Education Group. It’s the largest campus store operator in North America. Overall, it currently manages more than 1,200 local bookstores and 1,700 eFollett online stores nationwide. Depending on the college, the bookstore network offers textbooks, school supplies, trade books, technology, fan gear, and college merchandise. All bookstores offer new, used, and rental textbooks, year-round buyback, and price match programs. Here’re a few college bookstores in Virginia operated by Follett:

Hokieshop University Bookstore—Virginia Tech

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  • Address: 115 Kent Street, Blacksburg, VA 24061
  • Bookstore hours: 9:00 am–6:00 pm Mon-Sat; 10:00 am–5:00 pm Sun 

If you’re a student at Virginia Tech, you know this bookstore well. Hokieshop University Bookstore is an on-campus store built in 1975. One of the curious things about the bookstore building is that, when viewed from above, it looks pretty much the same as the state of Virginia on a map. What’s offered for students and faculty members? You can get textbooks and course materials online by checking the courses manually or entering your Hokie Passport Number (they promise 100% of your materials). Apart from textbooks, you can get school supplies and stuff for graduation and other things such as electronics, etc. You can also sell your used textbooks back to the campus store and earn some cash. To do so, you need to visit the store in person.

Virginia Western Community College Bookstore

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  • Address: 3092 Colonial Ave SW, Roanoke, VA 24015-4704
  • Phone: (540) 857-7334

Virginia Western Community College Bookstore serves Virginia Western Community college students and teachers. As you can see on the screenshot, this on-campus bookstore is also operated by Follett Higher Education Group Inc., so apart from the same website design and structure, there’s a similar set of things you can utilize. Here, you can also buy, rent, and sell back your used textbooks. Selling back also requires your coming to the store in person. 

Virginia State University Bookstore

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  • Address: 1 Hayden Drive, Petersburg, VA 23806
  • Phone: (804) 524-5691

Virginia State University Bookstore is also operated by Follett and provides students and teaching staff with textbooks and other college-related materials and supplies. You can sell used textbooks here every working day from 9 am to 5 pm (weekends and holidays are off). Here’s what they usually accept: textbooks in like new condition with insignificant signs of damage (no missing pages or markings, no water damage, etc. The store usually offers up to 50% of your book’s original price.

Virginia Peninsula Community College Bookstore

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  • Address: 99 Thomas Nelson Dr, Hampton, VA 23666-1433
  • Phone: (757) 825-2864

The same goes for Virginia Peninsula Community College Bookstore. Apart from getting the textbooks you need for your studies, you can also shop for college supplies and even fitness and health stuff like vitamins and supplements (online store). The bookstore offers a range of textbook options, from new to used to digital copies. You can also rent the books for different periods. Prices differ depending on the condition of the book. You can also sell your used books back to the bookstore: the terms are the same as for all the colleges operated by Follett. 

Southwest Virginia Community College Bookstore

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  • Address: 635 Community College Road, Cedar Bluff, VA 24609
  • Phone: 276-963-3627

Southwest Virginia Community College Bookstore serves students and teachers of Southwest Virginia Community College and offers textbooks and course materials both in the online store and their brick-and-mortar store in Cedar Bluff. As one of the Follett stores, they also have a buyback program. However, keep in mind that while they accept books all year round, depending on the demand and needs of other network bookstores, they may refuse if they’ve “reached the limit on a particular title for next term.

Another large US college bookstore operator is Barnes & Noble College, which is, by the way, a completely separate company from Barnes & Noble. They have over 1,400 physical and digital stores for higher education and K-12 schools. They manage 47 schools in Virginia, including 21 college bookstores. Here’re a few examples:

West Virginia University Bookstore

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  • Address: 1550 University Ave. Morgantown, WV 26506-6357
  • Phone: (304) 293-7461

West Virginia University Bookstore offers textbooks and course materials online and in their brick-and-mortar bookstore. To choose the materials you need, select the term, department, course number, and section. Alternatively, you can visit the bookstore in person from 9 am to 4:30 pm Monday to Thursday. The store also has a buyback program, so you can sell your used textbooks back and expect up to 50% of their initial purchase price. Do it at the end of the semester as early as possible because “Finals week is the best time to get the most cash back, so sell early!” Keep this in mind as well as the fact that not all of your textbooks will be 100% accepted or paid for as much as promised.

TCC Bookstore

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  • Address: 1700 College Crescent, Student Center, Bldg K, Virginia Beach, VA 23453
  • Phone: (757) 822-7575

TCC Bookstore Virginia Beach (Tidewater Community College) is also operated by Barnes & Noble College Booksellers. Therefore, the online bookstore offers the same functionality as the previous college store we reviewed. Reserve your materials online or visit the bookstore in Virginia Beach from 9 am to 5 pm Monday to Friday. Apart from the same terms for all college stores operated by Barnes & Noble College, pay attention to this, “Buyback is limited to one copy of a title per customer.” In all cases, we recommend contacting the store in advance with questions about the textbooks you want to sell.

Independent Bookstores in Virginia

Now let’s move on to independent bookstores in Virginia. Surely, we can’t list all the beautiful and versatile bookstores in Virginia (for a more or less complete list, you can check Biblio, for example). However, we’ve selected a few interesting places.

New Dominion Bookshop

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  • Address: 404 E. Main St., Charlottesville, VA 22902
  • Phone: (434) 295-2552
  • Specialty: General interest books

New Dominion Bookshop has been serving Albemarle and Central Virginia since 1924 and is the oldest independent bookseller in Virginia. You won’t miss it when you take a walk in historic downtown Charlottesville. The bookstore doesn’t specialize in anything specific; instead, you can find books on all sorts of topics of all genres, from fiction and nonfiction to kids’ books and books on architecture and landscape gardening. While they don’t accept used books as buyback, we encourage you to visit this beautiful store—the place is totally worth it. If you’re a book lover who’s just started on the path of creating your own library, they can help you with that: one of the bookstore’s services is home library curation! 

Busboys and Poets Shirlington

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  • Address: 4251 S. Campbell Ave., Arlington, VA 22206
  • Phone: (703) 379-9757
  • Specialty: General interest books; alternative; politics

Let’s move on to another great bookstore, this time, located in Arlington—Busboys and Poets Shirlington. The first Busboys and Poets bookstore opened in 2004, and now there are nine bookstores in the Washington D.C Metropolitan and Baltimore areas in total. This is how they position themselves, “Busboys and Poets is a community where racial and cultural connections are consciously uplifted… a place to take a deliberate pause and feed your mind, body, and soul…” Their website stands out with its elaborate design and no less elaborate manifesto. The bookstore in Arlington is called Busboys and Poets Shirlington, which is the combination of “Shirley” from Shirley Highway and “Arlington” from the county. Apart from a bookstore, there’s a bar and two event spaces. They have an online store powered by Bookshop; however, we strongly encourage you to visit the brick-and-mortar store to take a look at the books, attend the monthly book club or one of the private gatherings whenever you’re in Arlington. 

Blue Whale Books

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  • Address: 115 W. Main St., Charlottesville, VA 22902
  • Phone: (434) 296-4646
  • Specialty
  • Blue Whale Books online store is a classic-looking website where you can get various books, original prints, and rare maps. It’s also (or should we say, primarily) a brick-and-mortar store in the very heart of Charlottesville. You can take a look at the store before going there by taking a 3D Tour (ingenious!). Blue Whale Books offer about “20,000 used books and hundreds of antiquarian/rare books“. It’s a place not just for book lovers but for seasoned book scouts, experts, and book connoisseurs. Apart from books, the store offers about 1,000 original prints (e.g., chromolithographs from the 1800s, 18th and 19th-century maps, etc.). The bookstore also buys books; however, there’s a list of what they don’t accept: “Encyclopedias published after 1910; romance, westerns, business, finance, politics; magazines after 1900.” The owner also performs appraisals of maps and prints regularly. Please call in advance to make an appointment if you have something to offer to the store. 

Heaven and Earth

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  • Address: 1255 Fordham Dr. Ste 112 Virginia Beach, VA 23464  
  • Phone: (757) 420-3576 
  • Specialty: religious and Christian literature

If you’re looking for a Christian bookstore in Virginia Beach or if you’re in Virginia and haven’t got anything convincing after searching “Christian bookstore near me” in Google, we’ve got you covered. Go straight to Heaven and Earth in Virginia Beach. This locally-owned small business Christian bookstore has plenty of books and other products for those seeking spiritual growth. From various Bibles to kids’ Christian literature to DVDs and church supplies, you’ll find what you need. Open from 10 am to 9 pm Monday to Saturday and from 1 pm to 5 pm on Sundays, the store always welcomes those who seek inspiration, encouragement, and guidance.

Hooray for Books!

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  • Address: 1555 King St., Alexandria, VA 22314
  • Phone: (703) 548-4092
  • Specialty: Children’s books

If you’re looking for kids’ books, we can recommend Hooray for Books!, a children’s bookstore in Old Town Alexandria. Independent and locally owned, it’s well-known both in Alexandria and the state of Virginia. They also have an online marketplace powered by Bookshop; however, we encourage you to visit the store on King Street to experience the friendly atmosphere and get the best customer service. Besides, they can help you find any book for your kids, as they specialize in children’s literature and know all about it. They also host weekly storytime events and three adult book clubs and arrange book fairs, school author visits, and author events, to name a few. They’ve recently added an adult and YA section, which means an even broader choice of books. Unfortunately, they don’t seem to have any buyback program; however, we’re positive they can recommend a few places if you have used children’s books that you want to sell or donate.

One More Page Books

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  • Address: 2200 N. Westmoreland St., Arlington, VA 22213
  • Phone: (703) 300-9746
  • Specialty: General interest books

One More Page Books & More website opens with the statement, “One More Page Books—where we take books, wine, and chocolate more seriously than we take ourselves!” And we like the way it sounds! This independent bookstore opened its doors in January 2011 in North Arlington, and since then, it’s been serving the Arlington community by selling books, wine, and chocolate—literally. You can order online or come to the store in person from 11 am to 4 pm on Tuesday, Saturday, and Sunday or Wednesday and from 11 am to 7 pm on Thursday and Friday. The bookstore also offers various events and activities; check their event calendar for more information. 

Winchester Book Gallery

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  • Address: 7 N. Loudoun St., Winchester, VA  22601
  • Phone: (540) 667-3444
  • Specialty: General interest; alternative; politics, kids’ books, etc.

Located in the center of the Winchester Old Town pedestrian mall, The Winchester Book Gallery is an independent, locally owned bookstore that has been serving the northern Shenandoah Valley of Virginia for about 51 years now. One of the oldest in the area, the bookstore offers new books, gift cards, and local art. The store also arranges book fairs, book signings, and community events. Buy books online on their website or visit the store on 7 N. Loudoun street.

Books and Crannies

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  • Address: PO Box 5024 Martinsville, VA 24115

Books and Crannies is an online-only, Black-woman-owned independent bookstore run by DeShanta Hairston. The brick-and-mortar store that worked from September 2016 closed in January 2022, as did so many businesses in the area affected by the pandemic. However, the online store still stays strong. In light of recent events, more and more people have been actively seeking information on the country’s real history, racism, and the experiences of people of color. Bookstores like Books and Crannies are just the place to get such information. It’s also a fantastic online store with a variety of titles, from antiques and collectibles to cooking and sports books.

The Book Dragon Shop

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  • Address: 102 W. Beverly St., Staunton, VA 22401
  • Phone: (540) 712-7941
  • Specialty: General interest books; kids’ books

The last brick-and-mortar store we’ve decided to highlight in our list of bookstores in Virginia is The Book Dragon Shop. Here’s how they write about themselves, “We’re a local and veteran-owned, independent general interest bookstore in Staunton, VA. Drop by and find a new read or a cherished memory. We have books for readers of all ages. We have something for everyone, from kids’ books to history books, and can help you find your next favorite.” The store also hosts various events: book clubs, book signings, children’s events, etc. We also like their opening line on the website, “Unleash the magic of reading,” which sounds both powerful and inspiring, so you immediately feel the urge to browse their collection. The store also supports indie authors through the consignment program, and they have plans to host in-person author events in the future. You can check their online store; however, we encourage you to visit the Book Dragon Shop in person for the atmosphere and the feel of real books and people who care for them. 


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Our last recommendation for today will be for those who, nonetheless, prefer to buy, rent, and sell books online. BooksRun offers an extensive selection of books and textbooks, both new and used in good condition. Wherever you’re shopping online from Virginia or another state, you can easily find the book you need by its ISBN, title, or author and get it shipped to you in a matter of days. You can compare textbook prices in your college bookstore with the ones offered on the BooksRun website: we’re positive that having an alternative will help you save more. Besides, BooksRun also has a buyback program for more than 300,000 titles, so you can sell your used textbooks and fantasy books at better prices than when you offer them to a college bookstore or local store. 

Final Thoughts 

We hope this list of local college and independent bookstores in Virginia will be helpful to everyone looking for books, be it textbooks for studies or just books for professional or light reading. Wait for more bookstore guides from BooksRun!

Natalie Song