It’s summertime. You know what that means — time at the pool, summer camp and, best of all for book lovers, summer reading.
And what better way to tackle your summer reading list than by supporting local bookstores?
The Indianapolis Public Library store has sales several times a year, some of which are for members of Friends of the Library, though many are for the general public.
Subscriber-exclusive analysis:Newfields’ blockbuster Lume enters a year of Monet to enjoy, ignore or leverage
Either way, whether you’re looking for a page-turning thriller, romance novel or memoir, Hoosier booksellers have got you covered.
Here are some stores you definitely should not miss.
Books & Brews
Books & Brews, a combination bar and bookstore experience, offers an unbeatable combination: books and beer (named after books).
You can buy a book outright for $3 or participate in the “take a book, leave a book” system. The store also sells games and collectibles. Best of all, book sales support literacy through Books & Brews’ partnership with Indy Reads.
“We are proud to partner with Indy Reads in order to donate 10% of the proceeds from every used book sale to help promote adult and family literacy in Central Indiana,” Books & Brews’ website says.
The original “mothership” location, 9402 Uptown Drive, Suite 1400, is open from 4-9 pm Monday through Wednesday, noon-10 pm on Thursday, noon-11 pm Friday and Saturday and noon-6 pm on Sundays.
More in community news: Indianapolis native Alyssa Gaines selected as 2022 National Youth Poet Laureate
Indy Reads, a literacy organization and bookstore, just opened their new location in Fountain Square, previously on Massachusetts Avenue.
The store, at 1066 Virginia Avenue, provides community engagement and action along with shopping. Indy Reads’ programs to promote literacy include high school equivalency diplomas to English language learning programs and more.
However, it’s also an independent bookstore with a wide variety of titles. Whether you’re looking for a swoony romance or a bloodcurdling mystery, Indy Reads has you covered.
The store also hosts events like poetry slams, chess club and other workshops.
Indy Reads is closed on Mondays and Tuesdays. The store is open from noon-6 pm Wednesday, Thursday and Sunday and 11 am to 7 pm Friday and Saturday.
You can shop online here: bookshop.org/shop/indyreads.
Pen and Pink Vintage
Pen and Pink Vintage, a vintage bookshop located near Garfield Park, is “a place for people who love old books,” according to their website.
If that’s you, read on!
You can shop online or go into the store to find tons of vintage treasures, from a 1956 copy of “Old Yeller” to decades-old Bobbsey Twins books. The store offers numerous other trinkets, like vintage comics and magazines and notebooks.
Visit the store at 2435 Shelby St. You can visit them online at penandpinkvintage.square.site for a look at inventory and for more information.
Irvington Vinyl & Books
Irvington Vinyl and Books is a staple of the east side neighborhood. For lovers of “weird, vintage and local” items, you’ll love this place.
The shop just reopened in a new location, at 202 S. Audubon Rd.
With one side devoted to books old and new, and the other a treasure trove of records and cassettes, you’ll never lose sight of what you want in this charming store.
The store will Sometimes buy used items, but is always taking donations. Whether you’re looking for an antique anarchist zine, cassettes or the latest bestseller, Irvington Vinyl & Books has you covered.
“If we don’t have it, we’ll figure out how to get it,” the store’s website says. “Just ask.”
Kids Ink Children’s Bookstore
We’re going to let you in on a secret: this kids-only bookstore is actually fun for all ages.
Kids Ink is located at 5619 N. Illinois St. The store has all kinds of children’s literature favorites, as well as books and games.
It’s open from 10 am to 6 pm Monday through Saturday, and open until 7 pm on Thursdays. Kids Ink is closed Sundays.
Whether you’re shopping for the child in your life or just connecting with your inner child, Kids Ink has much to offer. The store also also hosts author events and book signings.
To place an order for in-store pickup, call 317-255-2598. Inventory online is likely not the same as in-store, but you can browse some staff favorites here: kidsinkbooks.com/book-reviews.
Ujamaa Community Bookstore
Ujamaa Community Bookstore, located inside Flanner House at 2424 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. St., is a bookstore celebrating Black history and culture.
The store’s name, Ujamaa, is also the fourth principle of Kwanzaa, and refers to cooperative economics: “To build and maintain our own stores, shops and other businesses and to profit from them together,” according to the National Museum of African American History and Culture.
On their Facebook pagethe bookstore said it encourages “self-reliance by way of strengthening and controlling the economics of our own community.”
More on the new Indy bookstore: Indianapolis has a new community bookstore with a mission
Ujamaa does more than sell books. It hosts events and lots of community programming, from sound healing to peer support and writing groups.
It opened in the former location of the Flanner House library branch on Juneteenth 2021, according to previous IndyStar reportingand functions as a community hub for a neighborhood now without a public library.
Beyond Barcodes Bookstore
Beyond Barcodes Bookstore, a Black woman-owned multicultural bookshop, is located on Indianapolis’ near east side at 3139 E. 10th St.
The store used to be based in Kokomo, but Relocated and reopened in Indianapolis in April.
Beyond Barcodes offers a diverse stock of books for all ages, as well as fair trade goods like coffee and tea. If you’re unable to visit the store in person or live out of town, you can also place an online order at beyondbarcodesbookstore.square.site.
The store also has a number of book clubs people can join, including a Reading Beyond Racism book club. It regularly hosts author events.
Beyond Barcodes is closed Sunday through Tuesday. Hours are noon to 6 pm Wednesday through Friday and Saturdays from 11 am to 5 pm
Downtown Comics was started in 1993 by two Purdue graduates with a passion for games and comics, according to the store’s website.
The bookshop offers a robust collection of comics, books, action figures, games, graphic novels and more.
There are three locations. One is located in downtown Indianapolis, right on the Circle at 11 E. Market St. The downtown location is open from 10 am-6 pm Monday through Friday and 11 am to 4 pm Saturday and Sunday. The other two are in Avon and Castleton and hours vary by location.
You can view what’s on sale online at the downtown location at stores.comichub.com/downtown_comics_circle.
Contact IndyStar trending reporter Claire Rafford at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @clairerafford.