Bookstores with Unique Backstories


 

Kansas City’s diverse library of destination bookstores are as dedicated to the customer experience as they are to the literature itself. Among each independent bookseller, discover stories, authors and engaging communities unique to the area that keep people coming back.

Here are five noteworthy bookshops worth “checking out:”


Get lost in a book, or the store

 

Overlooking busy West 39th Street, Prospero’s Books specializes in used books, CDs and vinyl, all packed into a cozy three-story building.

Funky chairs are scattered throughout the store so that shoppers can get comfy with a book of their choice (including hard-to-find editions), plus a café on the third floor makes Prospero’s an ideal location for booklovers to spend an afternoon reading.

Interact with authors

 

It isn’t unusual for local bookstores to feature author readings and discussions. However, Rainy Day Books rewards readers from January through December with more than 300 Author Events per year.

Located at the Fairway Shops in Mission, Rainy Day Books has been serving the Kansas City community for more than 40 years, and thanks to international acclaim for its service, knowledge and commitment, the bookseller is a can’t-miss destination for book lovers.

Beer and Book Pairings

 

Afterword Tavern & Shelves combines two complementary pastimes: reading and enjoying local drinks.

Search the carefully curated shelves of this Crossroads Arts District establishment for your next engrossing read and pair it with wine, craft beer or spirits in this unique new gathering spot. 

Satisfy your superhero craving

 

Visitors who can’t wait until the next superhero movie comes out can rest easy thanks to Elite Comics and its wide selection of new and used comics, graphic novels, statues and other merchandise.

Located in Overland Park, Elite Comics hosts tons of in-store and offsite events each year and an active, inclusive community great for lively discussion and making new friends.

Recommended

A Guide to Kansas City Coffee Shops

Consult our go-to guide to Kansas City’s coffee shop scene to sample some of the best in the region.

Artistic Expressions: Explore Kansas City’s Dynamic Art and Gallery Culture

From incredible fine art galleries and studios, to contemplative public art installations and multi-dimensional art-related events, explore some of the city’s best artistic expressions.

Enjoy the Outdoors with Great Patios in KC

Whether you’re taking in a stellar view, soaking in the sun’s rays or cheering on your favorite team with hundreds of other fans outdoors, there’s a Kansas City patio seat with your name on it.

National Museums in Kansas City

Widely celebrated as a hotbed of barbecue, jazz and fountains, Kansas City has also curated a reputation as a preeminent destination for museum-goers.

Coffee, Cocktails and Classic Reads

Coffee or Camus, sweets or Salinger, Our Daily Nada is a River Market bookseller that doubles as a down-to-earth café made for long mornings and late nights.

Not to mention the excellent craft cocktail menu, which serves as the perfect excuse to talk Atwood and Walker with drinks in-hand after finding your next great read.

More Reading spots in KC

Harry S. Truman Library and Museum

**The Truman Library is currently closed for renovation with an expected reopening date of fall 2020** One of only 14 U.S. Presidential Libraries, the Harry S. Truman Library and Museum's exhibits chronicle the Missourian's private life and political career -- with exhibits depicting his most difficult decisions like using the atomic bomb, the Cold War and recognizing Israel. President Truman and his wife, Bess, their daughter Margaret Truman Daniel and her husband E. Clifton Daniel, are buried in the museum's courtyard.

Johnson County Archives

Documents relating to local Johnson County, Kansas, history and genealogy. The collection features marriage licenses, wills, naturalization records and newspapers from the late 1800's.

Kansas City Public Library

Check out the story of a Kansas City bank-turned-community-treasure by touring the historic Central Library. Visitors can enjoy movies in the old bank’s vault, see a variety of traveling exhibits, enjoy lunch at the full-service café or take advantage of the library’s free WiFi. Others can simply take advantage of the city’s largest collection of books, magazines, CDs or DVDs. Visit the library Web site for details on upcoming programs that include concerts, nationally recognized speakers, children's events and films.

Mid-Continent Public Library - Antioch

Located north of Kansas City in Gladstone, Missouri, Mid-Continent Public Library's Antioch Branch serves the local community and welcomes out of town visitors seeking free WiFi. The branch offers free programs on a wide-range of topics from local history to technology instruction.

Mid-Continent Public Library - Blue Springs North

Located east of Kansas City in Blue Springs, Missouri, Mid-Continent Public Library's Blue Springs North Branch serves the local community and welcomes out of town visitors seeking free WiFi. The branch offers free programs on a wide-range of topics from local history to technology instruction.

Mid-Continent Public Library - Blue Springs South

Located east of Kansas City in Blue Springs, Missouri, Mid-Continent Public Library's Blue Springs South Branch serves the local community and welcomes out of town visitors seeking free WiFi. The branch offers free programs on a wide-range of topics from local history to technology instruction.

Mid-Continent Public Library - Boardwalk

Located north of downtown Kansas City, Missouri off I-29, Mid-Continent Public Library's Boardwalk Branch serves the local community and welcomes out of town visitors seeking free WiFi. The branch offers free programs on a wide-range of topics from local history to technology instruction.

Mid-Continent Public Library - Colbern Rd.

Located east of Kansas City in Lee's Summit, Missouri, Mid-Continent Public Library's Colbern Road Branch serves the local community and welcomes out of town visitors seeking free WiFi. The branch offers free programs on a wide-range of topics from local history and technology instruction to storytimes and family entertainment programs.

Mid-Continent Public Library - Excelsior Springs

Located northeast of Kansas City in historic Excelsior Springs, Missouri, Mid-Continent Public Library's Excelsior Springs Branch serves the local community and welcomes out of town visitors seeking free WiFi. The branch offers free programs on a wide-range of topics from local history and technology instruction to storytimes and family entertainment programs.

Mid-Continent Public Library - Lee's Summit

Located east of Kansas City in Lee's Summit, Missouri, Mid-Continent Public Library's Lee's Summit Branch serves the local community and welcomes out of town visitors seeking free WiFi. The branch offers free programs on a wide-range of topics from local history and technology instruction to storytimes and family entertainment programs.