10 of the Best Independent Bookstores in Rhode Island



woman choosing a book from a bookstore shelf
Credit: Ivan Pantic for iStock

As parents, we know that reading to our children is beneficial. Some of my favorite memories include reading to my children. We’ve compiled a list of 10 of the best independent bookstores in Rhode Island to check out with (or without!) your kids!

Books on the Square: Providence County

Books on the Square is in the heart of Wayland Square. Note: there is coffee nearby. They offer a diverse collection of fiction and nonfiction books to choose from.  Do you need someone else to do storytime? Books on the Square also offers Children’s Storytime on Wednesdays and Fridays at 11 AM.  Check their website for more details.

Symposium Books: Providence County

Symposium Books carries a vast collection of used and new books. My favorite part is their buyback program. You can sell your books for store credit, which means free book money in mom’s math. Can’t get to the store to pick up your books? Symposium Books also offers bike delivery services for locals.

Twenty Stories: Providence County

The owners of Twenty Stories describe their shop as a literary destination. They are not lying. They curate a new 20-book curation every month, hence the name. While this store has a storefront, it also has a traveling bookmobile—think food truck for books. Pretty cool, right? Check their site for updates on the bookmobile schedule.

Barrington Books: Bristol County

Barrington Books is a haven for gift-givers. Its store features books, gifts, educational toys, and home items. While its collection of books is impressive, its toys and games are also top-notch!

Ink Fish Books: Bristol County

Ink Fish Books showcases local authors and artists amongst its diverse stacks. Its children’s section, while small, is vibrant. Interested in a Rhode Island experience? Ask about their Rhody Reader Box!

Wakefield Books: Washington County

Wakefield Books is a stand-out in customer service. Their mission is to ensure each customer has a positive shopping experience. My favorite part? In the Summer, the local school’s summer reading list books are on display for ease of purchase.

Island Books: Newport County

Island Books is a favorite among the Aquidneck community. It is known for its cozy atmosphere and welcoming staff. I love them for their themed book recommendations and adorable gift items. I am a sucker for a good theme.

Charter Books: Newport County

Charter Books in Newport County offers a unique selection of books and gifts. The store’s cozy ambiance invites you to explore its shelves. With a focus on local authors, you can discover hidden literary gems. Charter Book holds Storytime for children on Saturday mornings at 10:30 AM.

Stillwater Books: Kent County

Stillwater Books is a lovely bookstore to visit. They offer a wide variety of new and used books. Besides being a delightful bookstore, it is also home to an orange tabby cat named Freddy. Freddy likes to lounge among the books. It’s worth the trip.

An Unlikely Story: Plainville, MA

An Unlikely Story is owned by Jeff Kinney and his wife Julie. Jeff Kinney is a children’s author known for The Diary of a Wimpy Kid Series. Bonus: every Jeff Kinney book sold at the store is a signed copy. An Unlikely Story is so much more than a bookstore. It is a bookstore, cafe, and gift shop with additional space for community events.

What independent bookstore would you add?


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here