66 bookstores on route 66

It's arguably the most famous road in the world. Route 66 - just saying those words makes you want to hit the road. But did you know there are many wonderful used bookstores along the way from Chicago to Los Angeles? We have plotted the ultimate bibliophile's road trip where you can visit 66 bricks and mortar used bookstores - who all sell on the AbeBooks marketplace - while driving from the shores of Lake Michigan to the beaches of Santa Monica. We are talking about two thousand miles and hundreds of thousands of books. It's a booklover's paradise - and worth the trip for that alone. Some folks travel for culinary adventures, some travel for landmarks and museums, but bibliophiles travel for the finest in literary offerings. It's called Bookstore Tourism, and yes - there's a book about it.

The bookstores we've featured vary in size, and range from quintessential neighborhood used bookstores to specialists dedicated to subjects like children's books, history, mysteries, architecture, theology, alternative religions and cooking. Get your motor running, head out on the highway and discover some amazing used and rare bookshops in America's heartland.

The people are in flight, and they come into 66 from the tributary side roads, from the wagon tracks and the rutted country roads. 66 is the mother road, the road of flight.
John Steinbeck -The Grapes of Wrath

66 bookstores on route 66:

Howard's Books - 2000 Maple Street, Evanston, IL 60201

Howard's Books is the quintessential neighborhood used bookstore close to Northwestern University. If a book has been in the store for more than a year it's half price.

Amaranth Books - 828 Davis Street, Evanston, IL 60201

Just down the road from Howard's, this store also offers CDs and DVDs, and has been around for 20+ years.

The Book Den - 1043-B Chicago Avenue, Evanston, IL 60202

Small but packed with books. Literature, history, anthropology, women's studies, books on tattoos and more.

Chicago Rare Book Center 703 Washington Street, Evanston, IL 60202

Chicago Rare Book Center - 703 Washington Street, Evanston, IL 60202

A treasure trove of collectible books. You’ll see amazing books priced in four and five figures.

The Armadillo's Pillow - 6753 N. Sheridan Road, Chicago, IL 60626

Expect the unexpected in this quirky store. Lots of beautiful but highly uncommon books.

Bookworks 3444 N Clark, Chicago, IL 60657

Bookworks - 3444 N Clark, Chicago, IL 60657

A little bit of everything including rare recordings. Parking around the back.

Gallery Bookstore - 923 W. Belmont Avenue, Chicago, IL 60657

Established in 1927, this general used bookstore offers a hefty dose of rare magazines and ephemera. Check out the specialist section for mystery, science fiction and horror.

Booklegger's Used Books - 2907 N. Broadway, Chicago, IL 60657

Walk in and the shelves seem to go on and on. Used books galore from first editions to affordable paperbacks.

Booklegger's Used Books 2907 N. Broadway, Chicago, IL 60657

Round Table Books - 1826 S. Indiana Avenue, Chicago, IL 60616

Offers rare and collectible books, particularly in history, art, Arthurian history and literature, Napoleonic biography and poetry. Closed Sundays.

Powell's Bookstores Chicago - 1501 East 57th Street, Chicago, IL 60637

It’s impossible to be in Chicago without visiting Powell’s in Hyde Park where you will find a vast array of scholarly books. They have another store on the University of Illinois Chicago campus.

Hooked on History - 350 W. Kensington Road, #108, Mt. Prospect, IL 60056

Established in 1988, the founding principle of this store is to provide quality collectible history books at affordable prices. Lots of American history with a strong focus on military history

Bobzbay 419 North Main Street, Bloomington, IL 61701

Brain Snacks - 5239 Carpenter Street, Downers Grove, IL, 60515

Open on Fridays and also by appointment only. Since 1994, Brain Snacks has specialized in mystery, science fiction and fantasy, and romance.

Bookhunters Books & Comics - 548 South Route 59, Naperville, IL 60563

Located in a busy shopping center, Bookhunters, which opened in 2012, combines comics and graphic novels with books on religion, theology, philosophy, literature and scholarly subjects.

Bobzbay- 419 North Main Street, Bloomington, IL 61701

Used books and quirky media, and lots of science fiction and fantasy. This shop is not dull and look out for the bright yellow Bobzbay van.

Dunaway Books 3111 South Grand Boulevard, St. Louis, MO 63118

Novel Ideas - 480 E Main Street, Decatur, IL, 62523

From Bloomington, take a short detour to Decatur and see Novel Ideas where you will find more than 20,000 books in a store that’s been open for over 25 years.

Prairie Archives - 522 East Adams Springfield, IL 62701

In business since 1973 and at this location since 1992. Approximately 250,000 books, documents, manuscripts, posters, prints, comics, collectibles, magazines, postcards and more.

Books on the Square - 153 East Jackson, Virden, IL 62690

About 20 miles south of Springfield. They opened in 1993 and today it consists of three buildings full of used and collectible materials.

STL Books 100 W Jefferson Avenue, Kirkwood, MO 63122

The Sly Fox - 123 North Springfield Street, Virden, IL 62690

This independent bookstore specializes in children's books, mysteries, books about Illinois, and books for reading groups.

Hammonds Antiques & Books - 1939 Cherokee Street, St. Louis, MO 63118

This St. Louis store has been around for 30 years. Lots of rare, used and out-of-print books plus a huge library of paper articles on subjects from the 1850s to 1960s.

Dunaway Books - 3111 South Grand Boulevard, St. Louis, MO 63118

Housed in a former gallery, Dunaway Books caters for scholars, collectors and readers. Lots of small press titles and local literature.

ABC Books 2109-J N. Glenstone, Springfield, MO 65803

The Book House, Inc. - 7352 Manchester, Maplewood, St. Louis, MO 63143

This shop is housed in an old department store building in the historic business district of downtown Maplewood. You will find an eclectic mix of rare, out-of-print, new, and used books.

Patten Books - 10202 Manchester, Kirkwood, MO, 63122

Keith and Nancy Patten offer around 50,000 quality used books. Open Tuesday to Saturday in the suburbs of St. Louis.

STL Books - 100 W Jefferson Avenue, Kirkwood, MO 63122

A small community bookstore dedicated to reading and the literary arts in St. Louis. They specialize in high quality literature for adults and children.

Nixa Book Mark 409-2 Northview Road, Nixa, MO 65714

ABC Books - 2109-J N. Glenstone, Springfield, MO 65803

Established in 1989, ABC offers more than 100,000 new and used books, including textbooks. Closed on Sundays.

Half Price Books of the Ozarks - 1950 S. Glenstone Avenue, Suite O, Springfield, MO 65804

New and used books covering romance, westerns, sci-fi, cookbooks, history, classics, horror and mysteries.

Hooked on Books - 2756 S Campbell Avenue, Springfield, MO 65807

Another one in Springfield. More than 100,000 used, rare and out-of-print gems. Located in the Village Shopping Center behind Andy's Frozen Custard. They have another location in Ozark.

Gardner's Used Books 4421 South Mingo Road, Tulsa, OK 74146

Nixa Book Mark - 409-2 Northview Road, Nixa, MO 65714

A small, friendly store stocked with over 30,000 books but a strong focus on paperback fiction.

Sleepygirl's Used Books - 516 N Main, Joplin, MO 64801

In business since 1999, Sleepygirl started out online but expanded to a physical store in 2003 which was destroyed by a tornado in 2011. Like true survivors, they bounced back with a new store.

Coffee Break Book Store - 322 Buss Lane, Pineville, MO 64856

Used books and a Cuppa Joe. A good place to spend a few hours after touring the nearby Pea Ridge National Military Park. Contains a separate children’s room.

Peace of Mind Bookstore 1401 E. 15th Street, Tulsa, OK, 74120

Gardner's Used Books - 4421 South Mingo Road, Tulsa, OK 74146

Oklahoma’s largest used bookstore, Gardner’s has approximately 23,000 square feet of books, comics, DVDs, CDs/records, video games and collectibles.

Oak Tree Books - 2812 East 15th Street, Tulsa, OK 74104

Lots of books about Oklahoma, the early days of the American West as well as plenty of first editions.

Peace of Mind Bookstore - 1401 E. 15th Street, Tulsa, OK, 74120

One of America’s largest collections of occult, New Age and metaphysical books. Also carries herbs, stones, crystals, incense, runes and tarot cards.

Archives Books Oxford Pointe, 1914 East 2nd Street, Edmond, OK

Rod's Books & Relics - 10 E. 2nd Street, Sand Springs, OK 74063

A cozy little bookstore offering, children’s books, cookbooks, Western Americana, and science fiction and fantasy.

Archives Books - Oxford Pointe, 1914 East 2nd Street, Edmond, OK 73034

Established in 1989, Archives is a pioneer of online bookselling. Pop into their store for a huge array of used book bargains.

Second Chance Books & Comics - 3909 North MacArthur, Warr Acres, OK 73122

The largest used bookstore in the Oklahoma City area (250,000 books) and a full service comic book store, including Manga and graphic novels.

If you ever plan to motor West, travel my way, take the highway that's the best. Get your kicks on Route 66. It winds from Chicago to LA. More than 2,000 miles all the way. Get your kicks on Route 66.
Bobby Troup, whose 1946 song was first performed by Nat King Cole

Tome on the Range - 158 Bridge Street, Las Vegas, NM 87701

New books, modern first editions, children's books, cookbooks, and mysteries from this picture-perfect small town store in New Mexico’s Las Vegas.

Maya Jones Books - 500 N Guadalupe Street, Santa Fe, NM 87010

A wide selection of general used and antiquarian books with a specialty in Latin Americana and Western Americana. Located at the Traveler's Market inside the de Vargas Mall.

Gunstock Hill Books - 239 Johnson Street, Santa Fe, NM 87501

Located close to the Georgia O'Keefe Museum on the historic Santa Fe Plaza, this is a boutique bookstore specializing in old, rare and collectible books.

Big Star Books - 329 Garfield Street, Santa Fe, NM 87501

From the outside, this building looks like a storybook house but this small white and blue bookstore is filled with used books.

Second Chance Books & Comics 3909 North MacArthur, Warr Acres, OK 73122

op.cit. books - 500 Montezuma Ave, Santa Fe, NM 87501

Located in the Sanbusco Marketplace, op.cit carries new and used books, and modern first editions, and a great selection of remainders. Ideal for early risers, this place opens at 8am.

Under Charlie's Covers - 160 South Camino Del Pueblo, Bernallilo, NM 87004

Forty minutes north of Albuquerque. Lara Harrison named this shop after her father, a journalist who always wanted to open a bookstore. Charlie's dream never came true but his collection became the basis for Lara's bookselling business.

Bonnie's Books - 9311 4th Street NW Albuquerque, NM 87114

A small used bookstore with an interesting selection of children’s books.

Gunstock Hill Books 239 Johnson Street, Santa Fe, NM 87501

Page 1 Books (aka Page One Too) - 5850 Eubank Blvd. NE, Suite B41, Albuquerque, NM, 87111

Inside the Mountain Run Shopping Center, Page 1 Books is the largest independent bookstore in New Mexico, and offers new and used books.

Blue Eagle Metaphysical Emporium - 2422 Juan Tabo Blvd NE, Albuquerque, NM 87112

This bookstore specializes in alternative spiritualties, primarily Wicca and pre-Christian paths, as well as Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism and Taoism. They also offer books on astrology, alternative self-help and health.

Title Wave Books - 2318 Wisconsin Street, NE Albuquerque, NM 87110

Title Wave offers everything from literature to cooking, children's books to political science - 100,000 books in 400 categories. Open Tuesday to Saturday.

Title Wave Books 2318 Wisconsin Street, NE Albuquerque, NM 87110

Don’s Book Store - 1013 San Mateo SE, Albuquerque, NM 87108

This family-owned bookshop, which opened in 1970, offers more 200,000 paperbacks and hardcovers.

Pinon Tree Books - Antique Specialty Mall, 87106 Albuquerque, NM 87106

Located in an antique mall, Pinon Tree Books offers an outstanding selection of books on regional history.

Lifeways Books and Gifts - 111 South Cortez Street, Prescott, AZ 86303

A metaphysical and spiritual bookstore located on a busy little street between a burger joint and a clothing store.

Don's Book Store 1013 San Mateo SE, Albuquerque, NM 87108

The Old Sage Bookshop - 110 S Montezuma Street # H, Prescott, AZ 86303

Quality used books and a wide selection of titles on the Southwest ranging from children’s books to natural history.

Book Nook (aka Star 'N Space) - 324 W Gurley Street, Prescott, AZ 86301

A small bookstore next to a yoga studio.

The Book Shop - 134 N. Citrus Avenue, Covina, CA 91723

Twenty miles east of LA, Brad and Jen Johnson’s store has more than 40,000 books covering topics from California and the west to literature, military history, cooking, children's titles and science.

Cook Books (aka cookbookjj) - 1353 N. Hill Avenue, Pasadena, CA 91104

Janet Jarvits' legendary store contains more than 30,000 used, rare and out-of-print cookbooks. Chaotic but fascinating, this is a must-stop place for foodies.

Book Alley - 1252 East Colorado Blvd, Pasadena, CA 91106

Founded in 1992, this is a general used bookstore (offering 50,000 books) with a large selection of art, architecture, and photography books.

Archives Bookshop- 509 E Walnut Street, Pasadena, CA 91101

A theological bookstore that carries more than 75,000 new and used theological books covering religious studies, philosophy, theology and biblical studies.

The Battery Books & Music - 1005B Mission Street, South Pasadena, CA 91030

This store offers a wide and eclectic selection of books and music plus clothing and jewelry from local artisans, and live music too. Spanish language books too.

Read Books - 4972 Eagle Rock Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90041

A small highly organized store offering used books and new magazines. Also does events and has signed books and first editions.

Mystery and Imagination (aka Bookfellows Fine Books) - 238 North Brand Blvd., Glendale, CA 91203

Owned by Malcolm and Christine Bell, this store has offered books on mystery, detective, science fiction, fantasy and horror since 1975. Closed Sundays and Mondays.

The Old Sage Bookshop 110 S Montezuma Street # H, Prescott, AZ 86303

Alias Books East - 3163 Glendale Blvd., Los Angeles CA 90039

Located in the heart of Atwater Village, Alias Books carries a wide variety of used books with an emphasis on literature, film and the arts.

Bookfinger - 620 Moulton Avenue #113, Los Angeles CA 90031

Located at The Brewery, an artists' colony, in Lincoln Heights near Chinatown. Used and out-of-print art, photography and design books. Also LPs. Open Thursday to Saturday.

Counterpoint Records & Books - 5911 Franklin Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90028

Below the Hollywood sign. Books on the arts, literature, poetry, film, stage, and philosophy with a wide variety of other categories. Also lots of classical, jazz and rock records.

Book Alley 1252 East Colorado Blvd, Pasadena, CA 91106

Books on the Boulevard - 13551 Ventura Blvd., Los Angeles CA 91423

This shop opened in 1995 and offers hard-to-find, out-of-print, used and rare books. Closed Sundays.

Mystery Pier Books - 8826 Sunset Blvd., West Hollywood CA 90069

World famous and beautiful. This is where celebrities buy their rare books. Pop in and you might be rubbing shoulders with Johnny Depp. Signed, modern firsts, crime and mysteries.

Alias Books - 1650 Sawtelle Blvd, Los Angeles CA 90025

Near UCLA, Alias Books has been a West LA fixture since 1959 - Alias Books East is its sister store. Thousands of titles covering art, literature, academic and scholarly books.

Archives Bookshop 509 E Walnut Street, Pasadena, CA 91101

Arcana: Books on the Arts - 8675 Washington Blvd, Culver City, CA 90232

New, rare and out-of-print books on 20th century art, architecture, design, fashion, cinema and photography housed in a modern, sleek store.

Sam: Johnson's Bookshop - 12310 Venice Blvd., Los Angeles CA 90066

Located in a blue building for the past 30 years, this famous bookstore offers a wide selection of used books with plenty of history.

Hennessey + Ingalls - 214 Wilshire Blvd, Santa Monica, CA 90401

Founded in 1963 and dedicated to the visual arts, this store is filled with used, rare and out-of-print books about art, architecture, design, fashion and photography.

Hennessy + Ingalls 214 Wilshire Blvd, Santa Monica, CA 90401

What is your ideal literary road trip?

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