10 Largest Bookstores In The United States

This article is on largest bookstores in the united states. There used to be book stores in every town. Then there were the giants, and then there were the mom and pops. Each one featured an abundance of intrigue, romance, drama, history, entertainment, education, and much more.

After the advent of the internet, many of these businesses closed, depriving customers of their favorite hangout spots.

However, if you speak to the appropriate individuals, they will confirm that the bookstore never truly disappeared. While many mom-and-pop shops and large box stores suffered, some independent bookshops have succeeded.

Key Takeaways:

  • Bookstores are retaining their core of devoted customers. People who prefer to browse the book stacks in person, who enjoy the smell of the pages, the crack of a book’s spine, and the feel of a book in their hands.
  • These large bookstores made it possible for people to discover new books, join book clubs, and rediscover their passion of reading.
  • Books aren’t the only things bookstores sell. Many sell other products in addition to books.


We looked at a number of variables to identify the largest bookstores. Sales and income are undoubtedly important aspects, and it should be highlighted that this overview includes internet sales by brick and mortar businesses.

In addition to books, bookshops frequently sell items related to print or the written word, but music has also grown to be a popular high-ticket commodity for them. Additionally, they have expanded into secondhand book sales in addition to new book sales.

1. Barnes Noble

33 East 17th Street
New York, NY 10003

Barnes & Noble once bragged of having the largest bookstore in the world. Their Fifth Avenue location in New York featured 154,250 square feet and 12.87 miles of shelves filled with brand-new books that were available for purchase.

Although it didn’t last, this facility served as the company’s flagship book store. It was abandoned in January 2014. deriving the name directly from Barnes & Noble. The business has now rebounded and now touts itself as the biggest bookstore on the internet.

Do they hold the title of largest? Although they have more than a million items in their ebook store, there is no conclusive response to that question.

Barnes & Noble has increased the variety of products available in-store, focusing mostly on films, kids’ toys and products, games, and other printed materials, in an effort to keep up with the competition. They feature a huge selection in their physical book stores in addition to their sizable online business.

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2. Amazon Books

4601 26th Avenue NE
Seattle, WA 98105

It’s vital to acknowledge the elephant in the room if we’re going to talk about online book sales. With more than 33 million volumes in its library and worldwide shipping capabilities, Amazon is the largest bookstore in the world.

We’re more interested in the real stores, though. This internet behemoth is to blame for altering the market for booksellers and almost bringing down the brick-and-mortar bookstore.

They then went back and started their own physical businesses, though. They currently have actual, physical stores in Washington, where they launched their first store, as well as Arizona, California, Colorado, the District of Columbia, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, and New York.

3. Powell’s Books

1005 W. Burnside St.
Portland, OR 97209

Not just the national brands are honored for their sales and achievements. According to Powell’s Books, it is the biggest independent bookshop in the world. If you aren’t from Oregon, you might not be familiar with this bookstore, but if you have been there, there’s a high chance you love it.

In 1970, Michael Powell, a college student, launched the first Powell’s location in Chicago. Michael’s father, Walter, supported him and became so enamored of the industry that he established his own used bookshop in Portland, Oregon.

Michael eventually shut down the Chicago location and relocated back to Portland. There are currently three locations in Oregon, and the third generation of Powells owns and operates them.

4. Hudson Group

1 Meadowlands Plaza
East Rutherford, NJ 07073

If you’ve ever stopped by a Hudson News store in an airport to get a paperback for the trip, you’re currently in one of the biggest book stores in the country (even though the store you visited probably was extremely small). More than 970 of the company’s locations are open nationwide.

Their history began with their founding in 1918. The business was incorporated in 1926, and since 2008, Dunfry AG of Basel, Switzerland, has owned them.

While a significant portion of their company is books, they also run convenience and travel stores, duty-free shops, electronics shops, themed shops, and businesses serving food and drinks.

5. Half Price Books

HPB Headquarters
6803 E. Northwest Hwy.
Dallas, TX 75231

Let’s talk about a real giant: Half Price Books is the biggest family-run bookshop in the country. This company has been dedicated to books, literacy, and the communities in which their stores are located since 1972.

As delicious as some of the stories they sell, so is their beginning. Without anticipating the popularity their “We Buy Books” ads would generate, two book lovers decided to create a secondhand book store in an abandoned laundry.

Currently, they operate more than 120 outlets throughout the states and have a substantial online presence. They specialize in giving their establishments a cozy atmosphere reminiscent of the old-fashioned mom-and-pop shops. And they continue to uphold their basic principles of helping the community and fostering literacy.

6. Books-A-Million

402 Industrial Ln.
Birmingham, AL 35211

Books-A-Million, or BAM to its fans, got its start in 1917 as a little newsstand on a street corner. This business, which still has its headquarters in Florence, Alabama, is well-known throughout the Southeast.

In size, the stores range from 4,000 to 30,000 square feet. With a wide assortment of gifts, toys, technology, and even a restaurant with its Joe Muggs® Café, they now sell much more than just books.

The business has expanded beyond only selling books and newspapers; it now takes pride in being the second-largest bookseller in the country.

Their e-commerce venture and American Wholesale Book Company, their book distribution and wholesale affiliate, are primarily to blame for their enormous success.

7. Books Inc.

1501 Vermont Street
San Francisco, CA 94107

Books, Inc. defers to others’ claims of being the largest retailer or store. They are the oldest independent bookseller in the West, which is their claim to fame. Their origins can be traced all the way back to 1851, during the California gold rush.

Anton Roman, a gold miner, supposedly struck it rich and abandoned the metal to concentrate on words. In Shasta City, he established his first bookstore, but it has since burned down, been moved, been sold, and no longer exists. But from that shop emerged Books Inc., a franchise, in 1946.

Today Books Inc. is proud to compete in the current economy and has eleven decent sites around California.

8. Bookmans

Bookmans Entertainment Exchange Headquarters
3330 E. Speedway Blvd.
Tucson, AZ 85716

The purchase, sell, trade philosophy has allowed Bookmans to thrive in the book retail industry. However, they now trade in much more than just books.

They also mention things like books, periodicals, comics, music, movies, video games, musical instruments, electronics, housewares, and more as things they buy and then resale.

In 1976, Bob Oldfather launched Bookmans with the opening of his first shop in Tucson. After more than 40 years, the store has grown into a franchise with six locations and a dedication to being an important part of each community where they are located.

9. Deseret Book Company

55 N. 300 W
Salt Lake City, UT 84101

A holding corporation that is under the direction of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints owns Deseret Book Company. Two bookshops that can both be traced back to the same man united to form the first of the establishments in 1919.

Deseret Book then purchased Excel Entertainment Group in 2004, which was well-known for creating certain albums and producing LDS movies. The company provides a wide range of products, but each one of them includes a religious component.

10. United Methodist Publishing House

2222 Rosa L Parks Blvd
Nashville, TN 37228

Another religious bookseller is Cokesbury. They consider themselves the retail and customer service arm of The United Methodist Publishing House.

Offering more than 300,000 unique products that include books and other written materials, they claim to also reach a broad ecumenical audience across the globe.


Despite the fact that Americans still enjoy reading, statistics indicate that they are doing so less frequently than in the past. This is a significant contributor to the downfall of the traditional bookstore, along with the development of ebooks and online book sales.

There seems to be a shift, which is interesting considering how many large shops, like Borders, B. Dalton, Book World, and others, have filed for bankruptcy during the past decade or so. The little bookstore is now again in style, according to a recent piece in The New York Times. Authenticity and nostalgia are popular.

The American Booksellers Association has also noted an increase in sales at independent bookstores. This is fantastic news for readers and those who value supporting regional businesses.

However, it appears that the literary superstores could be in danger. Even while they can keep adding things to their lineup, it might not be enough.

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