Boulder is rich with locally-owned businesses and you won’t be at a shortage for finding Boulder bookstores that fit the bill.
Since Pearl Street is the town’s most popular shopping area, we thought we’d introduce you to everywhere in the vicinity of the Pearl Street Mall where you can walk in and find a new page to turn.
While you’ll find the big box behemoths like Barnes and Noble in other parts of Boulder (over by the 29th Street Mall), Pearl Street boasts most of Boulder’s independent bookstores — and all within the length of a few blocks.
What you’ll notice about Boulder’s independent bookstore culture is there are no two stores alike. Purveyors like The Boulder Bookstore consistently host author talks where you can meet both local authors and those coming through on book tours to discuss their latest titles. Others tend to specialize in second-hand, rare, or metaphysical titles. So you’re never at a loss for finding just the right Boulder bookstore, here’s a list of each along the Pearl Street Mall and a few tidbits of insight on what you’ll find in each.
Red Letter Second Hand Books
1737 Pearl St, Boulder, CO 80302
Probably Boulder’s premier used bookstore, you’ll be surrounded by stacks and stack of used books waiting to call your bookshelf home. Pricing is reported to be somewhat irregular, especially for used books, but it continues to be a local favorite by those who love getting lost in the stacks.
Left Hand Books
1200 Pearl St, #10, Boulder, CO 80302
Left Hand is your go-to destination for finding books on more obscure, mostly left-leaning political viewpoints (welcome to Boulder!). Run primarily by volunteers, it’s always worth a stop in just to see what’s on the shelves and maybe open your mind to new ideas tied neatly together by book bindings.
1107 Pearl St, Boulder, CO 80302
Perhaps the most well-known of all the Boulder bookstores on the Pearl Street Mall, The Boulder Bookstore boasts a selection as extensive as any big box book retailer. Even better, however, you’ll find a local staff that’s highly knowledgeable in every subject area in the store ready and waiting to help you find the perfect tome. Don’t miss their Staff Picks section for scoops directly from local bibliophiles!
Beat Book Shop
1717 Pearl St, Boulder, CO 80302
You might find getting inside a bit difficult (the store keeps some quite irregular hours), but once inside, you’ll find a decent collection of both books and records. This is a second-hand bookstore and all books (and records/music) are used, but you might be able to find something eclectic that soothes your inner biblio or audiophile.
Trident Booksellers and Cafe
940 Pearl St, Boulder, CO 80302
Want a cuppa to go with your book? Step into Trident Booksellers. A decent selection of books is waiting to be browsed while you sip or nibble your café fare. Locals love the dependable WiFi and while the seating can get cramped (especially when busy), you won’t be at a loss for people watching or book browsing opportunities.