The Independent Weeklyâ€”the Triangle Area’s weekly alternative newspaperâ€”honored fourÂ independent bookstores last week as part of their 2012 Indie Arts Awards. The Triangle’s rich literary culture once supported about 80 bookstores, and while those numbers have come downÂ since peaking in 1992,Â Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill isÂ still a gold mine for any bibliophile.
The Regulator Bookshop in Durham is the oldest of the four booksellers profiled in the Indy. Founded in 1976, they’re still “active in creating fun, stimulating, and creative events to help the store engage with the community.”
Quail Ridge Books & Music in Raleigh, founded in 1984, not only brings in authors but also regularly hosts political celebrities. And their town-hall meetings, where hot-button topicsÂ are discussed, can sometimes become a “minefield”, allowing citizens to hear both sides ofâ€”and voice their opinions aboutâ€”contentious issues.
In Fearrington Village, McIntyre’s Books is “a singularly cozy shop, impeccably designed and congenial for diving into the desert island reading list.” While in Chapel Hill, the “upstart” Flyleaf Books has made a name for itself “supporting local poets and musicians” by holding poetry slams and album-release parties.
By the way, NCWN’s 2012 Fall Conference will be held in the Triangle AreaÂ (Cary, to be exact)Â November 2-4. What better excuse to visit all four stores? Just make sure you bring an empty suitcase to cart home all the books you’ll end up buying!