4 local bookstores to browse bestsellers

There’s just something special about browsing the shelves of a local bookstore and breathing the ink from those freshly printed pages. And there’s so much more than just a great collection of books: Many bookstores regularly host live music, author appearances, arts and crafts workshops, club meetings and other activities, making these stores an ideal place to spend a cozy afternoon.

Check out the some of the offerings and happenings at these independent bookstores in West Virginia:

1. Empire Books & News


Empire Books & News in Huntington boasts the largest selection of magazines in the tri-state area. The store carries a wide variety of books by local authors as well as new and used books for all ages and a sizable collection of puzzles, games and coloring books. Regular events include a weekly story time for the little ones and adult activities like the monthly Writers Can Read Open Mic Night during which published and unpublished authors read their works. Empire Books is known for unique promotions like the popular “Blind Date with a Book,” in which customers can purchase a “mystery” book wrapped in plain paper for only $1 in hopes of meeting the match of their literary dreams.

2. Four Seasons Books

Have you always wanted to write a novel but didn’t know where to start? Four Seasons Books in Shepherdstown serves as an official Come Write In location for National Novel Writing Month (November) during which aspiring authors are invited to settle in with their laptops (or notebook and pencil) and partake of snacks, coffee and available power outlets necessary to inspire their creativity. The family-owned store also offers a unique selection of new, used and discount books and regularly hosts author discussions and book signings.


3. Words & Music Bookshop

Words & Music Bookshop has been a favorite haunt of Wheeling residents for 27 years, and it’s no wonder why. This eclectic shop carries a wide selection of new and used books, CDs, vinyl records, historic artwork and even gourmet chocolates. History buffs and genealogists will be pleased to know the shop — just a short drive from Oglebay Resort — prides itself on local history and special ordering.

4. Taylor Books


With its diverse offerings, Taylor Books in Charleston serves as a one-stop shopping and entertainment experience. Here you can find a wide array of new and used books, magazines, cards and literary-themed gifts. On Friday and Saturday evenings the bookstore hosts live music in its café, which offers wraps, pastries, coffee, smoothies, local craft beer and wine by the glass or bottle. You’ll also find works by local and regional artists showcased in the Annex Gallery next door and independent films shown at the Underground Cinema in the basement. If that’s not enough to keep you busy, sign up for one of several art classes offered here throughout the year.

Which bestseller is on your wishlist?

This post was last updated on March 1, 2022