You can buy books from so many places, including online from individual sellers and in-person at national chain stores. But nothing beats the experience of shopping at a local community bookstore. These local institutions often have unique selections and secondhand books, giving you the opportunity to support a small business. Plus, they may host awesome events for book lovers, such as author talks and book clubs. If you’re in the market for some new additions to your home library in Leawood, Kansas, then head to one of these area bookstores.

The Green Door Book Store & Gift Shoppe

Image via Flickr by Ontario Library Association Licensed CC BY 2.0

The Green Door Book Store & Gift Shoppe is a local, independent bookstore in nearby Overland Park. This store sells all sorts of books, from philosophy, self-help, and religion books to young adult and literary fiction. What’s more, this store highlights some of the most anticipated indie books for adults, young adults, and children. You can find books from up-and-coming writers, established authors, and independent publishers. You can buy audiobooks, too. In addition, you can purchase unique gifts for friends and family all year long, including items like mugs, bags, art supplies, and kitchen accessories.

This local bookstore also hosts visiting author events where you can meet writers and hear them talk about their writing process, the elements that inspire their stories, and more. Be sure to follow their social media accounts to see when the next event is taking place and to see which books, authors, and publishers they’re highlighting each month.

You’ll find this gem of a local bookstore at 7713 W. 151st St. in Overland Park, Kansas.

Rainy Day Books

A true community institution in the Greater Kansas City area, Rainy Day Books has been selling stories since 1975. Here you can buy indie books and popular bestsellers in physical book form as well as in e-book and audiobook format. By signing up for their newsletter or following their social media, you’ll get notified of their many author events, where they invite popular and up-and-coming authors for signings and fascinating talks. In fact, this store typically produces more than 300 author events per year and is resuming these events as of February 2022. 

If you’re not sure what book to choose, check out the staff recommendations online, look at the monthly “From Our Shelves” books newsletter, or chat with one of the helpful staff members in the store. And as a gift for friends, family, or yourself, you can have the Rainy Day Books staff select a few random titles of a certain genre when you purchase a $50 gift box of books.

Visit Rainy Day Books at 2706 W. 53rd St. in nearby Fairway, Kansas.

Prospero’s Books & Media

Located in nearby Kansas City, Missouri, is Prospero’s Books & Media. This store has been around since 1997, and they sell both new and used books. They also purchase gently used books for cash or trade-in credit. Prospero’s is a massive store, with three floors and more than 50,000 books, records, movies, and more. Plus, the store is located inside a historic, late-19th-century building near downtown, so it’s a must-visit spot for book lovers and history buffs alike. 

Prospero’s is a wonderful community-focused location, too. This store hosts a wide variety of community events, from live music and readings to author visits and art exhibitions. They even have a small selection of books posted up outside for anyone to grab 24/7, and those who grab a book are encouraged to slip some cash under the door as a thank you.

You’ll find Prospero’s Books & Media at 1800 W. 39th St. in Kansas City, Missouri.

Willa’s Books & Vinyl

Willa’s Books & Vinyl is a Black-owned bookstore in Kansas City that specializes in selling new and used African-American books as well as music and art. This store has many awesome gems, including rare African-American books, out-of-print reads, first editions, vintage magazines, and classic soul, jazz, gospel, and blues records. In addition, the owner of this bookstore is dedicated to educating the community on many aspects of African-American art, music, culture, and history, including that of race relations in America.

While Willa’s Books & Vinyl is no longer in its former home of the 18th and Vine district, this store thankfully found a new home in the Citadel district of Kansas City, where you can continue or start supporting this local bookseller. Their address is 1734 E. 63rd St. in Kansas City, Missouri.

Wise Blood Booksellers

Wise Blood Booksellers is a unique store on this list since it’s actually a small indie bookstore inside a local record shop. At this modern-styled bookstore, you can browse and purchase recent releases, classic books, and everything in between. This store also has a great selection of new and classic kids’ books, so you can make it a family adventure finding new favorite stories. What’s more, you’ll find displays in the store, on their website, and on Instagram where the Wise Blood Booksellers staff showcases what they are currently reading and loving if you want some fantastic recommendations. 

This bookstore is also heavily involved in the community. Wise Blood Booksellers hosts community events like discussions with authors and local artists, poetry readings, and book clubs, many of which are now live-streamed. They also host the Liberation Lit program, through which they send a wide variety of books to incarcerated people in Kansas and Missouri as a way to promote connection through books and prison reform. Find Wise Blood Booksellers at 4045 Broadway Blvd. in Kansas City, Missouri. 

While you can shop at these stores in person, you can also browse titles and purchase books and gift certificates on many of these booksellers’ websites. This option is great for when you know what books you want to buy, but you’d rather get them from a local business instead of an online retailer. 

So there you have it, five great local bookstores in and around the Leawood, Kansas, area. Did we miss any of your family’s favorite local bookstores? If so, contact Crème de la Crème of Leawood today. We’ll be happy to add your suggestion to our growing list.