It’s hard to escape the nostalgic gravity of the bookstore. With the changing times pushing consumers from paper to pixels, the independent bookstore is a rediscovered treasure. And Wyoming boasts a handful of very suitable havens of literature. Here are our favorites.
Wind City is a good median between small town, single-shelf establishments and the immense chain store. As such, their selection may not be the deepest, but its breadth covers all the bases: bestsellers, classics, children’s and state-specific. The important draw here, however, is the friendly and informative staff, who’re more than happy to recommend a new read or up-and-coming author.
A Jackson staple for nearly 50 years, this mom-and-pop shop celebrates its area roots, with an expansion regional/local collection, and decades of experience that makes the longtime staff true experts. The shop amalgamates the availability and selection of larger stores with an extensive knowledge and passion for the local. This combination conjures the great bookstore environment of inviting-meets-intellectual, small town-meets-big ideas. If in the rare event one’s first choice isn’t available, the staff and catalogue will make a suitable (if not better) replacement.
It’s difficult to top the nostalgia of the idyllic coffee shop: the romanticized visions of 20th century Champs-Élysées bistros, as though trotting alongside Hemingway and Stein. Night Heron does a commendable job of manifesting this nostalgia. Everything here is as right as it could be: amazing, retro-chic décor, friendly staff, a vast reading selection of used books, and good coffee. The icing on the cake is the locally-sourced food menu, a great complement to any paperback and cup of black.
In a hub of outdoor recreation, unmatched natural panoramas, and the honeypot of vacationing families, well-off businesspeople and locals, the Jackson area is unique in every way. True to its environs, ‘Book Traders delivers with a great selection, possessing a welcome swath of rare books (in addition to the usual bestsellers and classics). So enter the red brick storefront, hop over the house dog, and casually delve into an sea of shelves.
One of the gateways to Yellowstone National Park, Cody is renowned town in frontier and outdoorsman circles. The tourist traffic and a populace hungry for literature make Legends a needed utility. The building and selection are new and modern, but possess a surprisingly varied collection.
Near the Bighorn Mountain Range, a regional hub for outdoor recreation, Laren’s focuses on providing an environment and an experience. The quaint shop is approachable without seeming bygone. The shop has a decent selection of mainstream works, area-specific field guides and features some treats and goodies from local confectioners.
Absolutely embodying their slogan, “Where laughter meets learning,” the Nook is less a stereotypical bookstore than an educational center for kids and young adults. Here, the focus is the nurturing and education of the young mind. A decent collection of youth-focused literature is bolstered by a plenty of space to explore and play: the house selection of toys of all types will please even the most tech-addicted kinder. And with the expansive educational focus, even playtime is class time.