In October, we checked out three of Richmond’s local bookstores (with private shopping sessions) and graded them based off of a few factors.
- Utilization of store space
- Ambiance/Feel of the store
- New and used book options
Based on our scores, the best bookstore in RVA is Chop Suey followed by Fountain Bookstore and Book People. Each is unique and lovely with plenty of reasons to stop by and shop local! Keep reading to see what we thought of Richmond’s local bookstores!
Chop Suey – 9/10
- (10/10) Great utilization of space and view of Carytown
- (9/10) Good ambiance with some natural light
- (10/10) New and used books – great used books selection
- (10/10) Fantastic location and walkability in the middle of Carytown
In our opinion, Chop Suey is the best local bookstore in RVA for multiple reasons. Chop Suey offers a fantastic selection of new and used books. It has a fantastic spot in the center of Carytown and has a unique and homey ambiance. With books by local authors, “blind date” books, and friendly employees who offer great suggestions – you’re sure to find what you’re looking for. Make sure to check out their mystery bags where they select books for you based on your mystery bag budget and preferences! You can also schedule time for a private shopping session if you want to get back into the store.
Fountain Bookstore – 8/10
- (9/10) Great utilization of space but smallest store
- (9/10) Traditional bookstore ambiance
- (5/10) New books only, no used books, some additional non-book items
- (8/10) Good location and walkability – Coffee shop and restaurants within walking distance
Fountain Bookstore is the definition of a classic bookshop. It’s located in historic Shockoe Slip and has a welcoming storefront. There’s a great coffee shop and plenty of restaurants within walking distance. They offer new books as well as some non-book items like socks, journals, and toys. The employees are very friendly and can provide great book suggestions. It is a smaller store and they fully utilize their space. Fountain Bookstore offers grab bags where the employees select books for you based off of your budget and preferences. Private shopping sessions are also available if you want to schedule a time to check out the store!
Book People – 7/10
- (8/10) Good utilization of space with side rooms utilized as well
- (7/10) Good ambiance with great natural light
- (8/10) New and used books, some additional non-book items
- (5/10) Decent walkability and location
Book People is a cute, welcoming bookstore tucked away right off of Patterson Avenue. The location is okay… you are a couple blocks away from Grove and Libbie and the store has its own parking lot. The biggest issue is that you can’t see the storefront from the main road. Book People offers new and used books and has pleasant natural light with plenty of windows around the store. The store has one main employee and he’s a true book lover but can be a bit awkward. Book People offers private shopping sessions if you want to check out the store!