The High Country is home to a number of niches that can fill the craving in a literature lover’s brain.


Bookstores in Boone vary from a national chain, several recognized independent stores, and a booth in a local emporium, as well as an established used bookseller that has shifted its business online.

Black Bear Books in Boone features remaindered hardcovers, bestsellers, titles with regional and local interest and a range of genres, as well as special orders. The store also has wireless Internet and a coffee bar and a children’s section with games and books. The store regularly hosts author signings and special events.

Black Bear Books
2146 Blowing Rock Road
Boone, NC 28607-6154
Phone: (828) 264-4636
Web: http://www.blackbearbooks.com

Waldenbooks in the Boone Mall focuses on current bestsellers, regional books, and discounted titles, as well as magazines, calendars and other printed matter. Waldenbooks is open seven days a week during regular mall hours and can also special order titles.

Skyland Books & Chickory Suite Coffee has two locations. One is on Main Street in Blowing Rock, with an emphasis on local and regional titles, as well as Blowing Rock’s own bestselling resident Jan Karon. The store is located in the courtyard beside the Martin House.

The second location is in downtown West Jefferson, where local titles and authors are featured. Both stores offer author events and can also fill special orders for select titles.

Boone is also home to a respected used bookstore, Row by Row Books. After a number of years operating a storefront on King Street while also selling used books online, the company is now exclusively an Internet bookstore, handling mostly non-fiction books, though it also has rare and signed collectible novels.

Row by Row Bookshop
Marsha and Matt Walpole
PO Box 294
Sugar Grove, NC 28679
Phone: 828.297.6731
Web: http://www.rowbyrowbooks.com/

Local writers and publishers have a booth in the Wilcox Emporium on Howard Street in Boone. Members of the High Country Writers and books from High Country Publishers and Parkway Publishers have books for sale there, often with the authors on hand to sign during weekends.

The region is home to three small, independent publishers. Parkway Publishers focuses on titles of local interest and history, such as its recent “A Short History of Watauga County” and “Wheels and Deals in the Yadkin Valley.” McFarland Books is a leading publisher of scholarly and specialty titles, among them performing arts, sports, chess, automotive history, and criticism, releasing 300 titles a year. High Country Publishers focuses on fiction and memoirs, helping distribute the work of local authors on a national level, with recent releases being “Murder At Blue Falls,” “Pelican Watch” and “The Perfect Game, Imperfect Lives.”

For those interested in wordcrafting, High Country Writers meets on the second and fourth Thursdays at 10 a.m. at the Watauga County Library in Boone. Meetings are free and open to the public, though writers can join the organization by paying dues. The group alternates critique meetings with special guest presentations. Guest speaker Carl T. Smith will address the group in December.

Plenty of free reading material and Internet access are available at local public libraries. The Watauga County Library is located on Queen Street in Boone and has a branch in the Cove Creek Community Center.

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