Literatus & Co. – Watertown, Wisconsin
Take one step into this Midwest Salon, and whether you’re looking for Don Quixote or just a good cup of coffee, you’ll know you’re home. The store is a charming blend of a coffee shop and the main bookshelves on the first level, with an upper level that consists of more bookshelves, small groups of chairs and tables along the upper railing to sit and talk, and a wonderful sitting area on the end, perched right by a large window that spans both floors and gives a nice view onto the street below. If you’re looking for a place to rest and relax and read in Watertown, Wisconsin, this is the place to go.
Boswell Book Company – Milwaukee, Wisconsin
A Milwaukee literary mecca, this sprawling store lays at the nexus of popular Milwaukee life and the underground flow of its art scene. The collection is vast and the clientele numerous, and it’s not uncommon to find young, tired artists from the nearby university trawling for Tarkovsky’s biography right next to groups of older grey-haired women getting ready to discuss that week’s best-seller. It’s a fantastic spot to find some great literature and an even greater mix of some Milwaukee life.
The Book Teller – Whitewater, Wisconsin
Hunkered down in the former vault of the Commercial and Savings Bank in downtown Whitewater, this shop is a cozy and relaxed trove of not only books contemporary and classic, new and used, but also handmade gifts and other curios crafted by local artisans. You’d be surprised what hidden gems you might be able find in this literary lockbox on a quiet afternoon.
Snowbound Books – Marquette, Michigan
A winter outpost that makes its home on the slope of one of many steep hills that lead from northern Marquette into the downtown, Snowbound Books is a welcome place of refuge during the heavy, cold winters the Upper Peninsula has made its fame and fortune on. There’s no better place to trek out to on a cold, snowy winter’s day than Snowbound, where you can tromp your boots off at the door, and wander through the nooks and passages of its small, but deep, cabin collection of books.
Prairie Lights – Iowa City, Iowa
If there’s a Los Angeles for literature, it’s Iowa City, which would make Prairie Lights Grauman’s Chinese Theater. This bookstore doesn’t just boast a literary heritage stretching back nearly fifty years—it also showcases emerging and present literary talent, and continues to add to the rich tradition of reading and writing Iowa City has become famous for.
And if you’re just looking for a place to retire once you’re done browsing, Prairie Lights has you more than covered. On top of the store perches a second-floor café, where patrons can rest, relax, order a number of baked goods and hot drinks, and sit along a bank of windows and watch life pass by on an Iowa City Saturday.