By: Alaina Buckenroth
Photo Credit: Step Out Buffalo
If you are an avid bookworm, or someone who enjoys going out to support local shops, these Buffalo bookstores are great summer adventures for you to explore.
- Burning Books-420 Connecticut St, Buffalo, NY 14213
A radical, activist bookstore in the heart of Buffalo offers thousands of new books and indie books you won’t be able to find anywhere else. The bookshelves are filled with young adult fiction books, eco-friendly gardening books, foraging cookbooks, nature guides, history books, how-to activism books, and even radical children’s books. Throughout the small aisles you’ll find hand-printed books and guides, along with various Buffalo artist’s stickers and prints. At the checkout counter in the back of the store, you will always be greeted with a smiling face. The workers there are helpful, kind, and compassionate, always willing to help you find a specific book, or just ask you how your day is. Burning Books is a few doors down from BreadHive Bakery & Café, so stop in and grab yourself a coffee before you go to browse the bookstore, because their collection will have you looking for hours.
- Rust Belt Books- 415 Grant St, Buffalo, NY 14213
With a combination of new and used books, you could search for hours in this multi-level bookshop. The store is filled to the brim with old finds, new finds, and even some textbooks thrown in here and there. The front of the store by the entrance exhibits local artists works, including prints, paintings, and handmade items. Throughout the store, you’ll find classics, old magazines, new books, poetry, history textbooks, art books, and photography collections. All the prices are listed in pencil on the first paper page of the book in the top right corner, making it easy to add $1, $2, and $3 books to your pile. There is a small bookshelf towards the poetry section that has incense and handmade cards for sale. The employees are very kind and will always keep you updated on the newest open mic in the back of the store (which is probably the coolest room you’ll ever step foot in).
- Fitz Books and Waffles- 433 Ellicott St, Buffalo, NY 14203
One of, if not the most interesting bookstores you’ll step foot in, Fitz offers you a unique experience combining books and waffles. With only about four or five tall bookshelves lining the walls and some tables of new books in the middle of the store, the selection is small, but the quality and rarity of the books is incredible. Some shelves are solely dedicated to rare Buffalo history artifacts, including photography, articles, and newspapers. At the counter, you can order yourself a waffle and enjoy it in the room next door, where you are surrounded by local artists’ artwork on the walls, and bookshelves of photography and art books. The owner is the nicest guy you’ll meet, and not only will the waffles have you coming back, but the open, friendly environment will too.
- Dog Ears Bookstore and Café- 688 Abbott Rd South Buffalo, New York 14220
A quaint bookstore just a short drive from the Buffalo Botanical Gardens, this café and bookstore is perfect for a rainy day, or sunny day activities. The small counter at the front offers a selection of drinks and baked goods to snack on while you’re sitting and reading or browsing the store. The narrow hallway on the left side of the building leads to children’s books and a reading room for open mics. There are new and used books scattered throughout, and the staff is always happy to help you find something. The prices are very reasonable, as well. If you’re looking for a smaller, quieter bookstore to read or study, this is your place!
- The Bookworm & BW Gifts- 34 Elm St East Aurora, New York 14052
Last, but most certainly not least is The Bookworm in East Aurora. If you happen to find yourself in that area, be sure to stop in and check out their amazing selection of books, crystals, and gifts. You will always be greeted with a smile by the employees at the door, and they’ll give you a rundown of what you can expect if you’ve never been there before. The front of the store is old school candy and toys, followed by a grand selection of crystals, tarot decks, incense, windchimes, spiritual books, jewelry, and decorations. Behind that you will find several bookshelves filled with new, used, and collectible books. The shelves are labeled by genre and author. If you are looking for a specific book, the staff if more than willing to help you find it, or even something similar. Once you’re done checking out the thousands of books, be sure to stop in the back of the store to see the vendors and their goods. They change vendors fairly often, so you’ll always find something new to pick up. The prices are very reasonable, and you can even bring in your own books to trade in. Don’t forget to grab a punch card before you head out the door! The rest of Main Street in East Aurora has plenty to offer as well, including Viddler’s, coffee shops, and boutiques.