New Jersey's Most Beloved Independent Bookstores

Bookworms and bibliophiles will adore the highly-rated New Jersey independent bookstores found across the Garden State. Plan to stop by a few of these shops to support a local bookseller and find your next great read.


[words] Bookstore
When you shop at [words] in downtown Maplewood, you can browse the latest best sellers and support a great cause. This indie bookstore with a mission offers a vocational training program for people with autism. The store houses a collection of books for readers of all interests and ages, including a large children’s section. Plus, it hosts more than 100 author events each year.

Montclair Book Center
In the heart of Montclair, you’ll find New Jersey’s largest new and used bookstore. Montclair Book Center has been a staple in the community for more than 35 years. Their vast collection spans three stories and includes books from all genres. A favorite for music lovers, the bookshop also carries an excellent selection of vinyl records, CDs, and cassettes.

Source of Knowledge Bookstore
The one-of-a-kind Source of Knowledge Bookstore in Newark doubles as a community center focused on Black art, literature, and culture. They have a fantastic selection of books by Black authors, host a regular kid’s story time, and even collect funds to sponsor free books and hot meals for local youth.

Little City Books
A must-visit for anyone touring Hoboken, Little City Books is a charming corner bookshop known for its cozy vibe and fun-filled children’s book annex. Shop their collection of top-sellers and hidden gems or ask the staff for personal recommendations. Can’t wait to crack open your new book? Snag a seat on the tiny outdoor patio and enjoy that first chapter.


The Bookworm
For a bookshop experience that’s straight out of a Hallmark movie, visit The Bookworm. The store is set in a picture-perfect pink house in the small town of Bernardsville and features a curated selection of trending titles, greeting cards, journals, games, and gifts.

Labyrinth Books
The official bookstore of Princeton University, Labyrinth Books boasts a large, constantly-changing inventory and a full calendar of author lectures and book signings. As expected at a college bookstore, the selection on academic subjects is extensive. However, they also offer popular reads, kid’s books, and a great bargain section in the basement.


When it comes to NJ bookstores, the locally-owned Inkwood in downtown Haddonfield is a favorite for residents and visitors alike. With a welcoming atmosphere and an impressive selection of books and gifts, this neighborhood bookshop invites you to stay a while. Browse the shelves, chat with the staff, or sit with your kids for a short story in the reading nook.

Second Time Books
With more than 60,000 titles in stock, Second Time Books in Mount Laurel is where you go to find the book you didn’t know you were looking for. While there is something for everyone here, fans of history, science-fiction, and fantasy will be especially impressed by the huge inventory in their favorite genres.


An independently-owned bookstore in the beach town of Manasquan, BookTowne is a tiny Main Street shop that holds a big place in the hearts of its customers. Despite its small size, BookTowne maintains a constantly rotating selection, a notable lineup of author events, and a subscription book service with monthly deliveries that are hand-picked by the staff.

The Book Garden
Open for more than 40 years, The Book Garden is a treasured secondhand bookstore in Cream Ridge. You can spend the afternoon getting lost in this book-lovers wonderland, where you’ll find row after row of novels, biographies, children’s books, cookbooks, foreign language books, and more. While you’re there, search their repertoire of back-issue comic books and paper memorabilia (magazines, postcards, sheet music, etc.).

Cape Atlantic Book Company
The Cape Atlantic Book Company is a regular stop for beach-bound vacationers in Cape May. Open year-round and located in the middle of Washington Street Mall, this NJ independent bookstore offers a huge variety of fiction and non-fiction, mystery and romance, as well as children’s books.  Be sure to check out the titles on Cape May and, of course, Cape May diamonds. And if you’re looking for a certain book and can’t find it, they’ll locate it for you and ship it directly to your home.

There’s so much more to shop in New Jersey. For more NJ independent bookstores> and other fascinating destinations, explore shopping districts and markets across the state.