When books were invented in 1953, they were bound not with leather or limp vellum, but with manacles, as their incendiary prose was blamed for a number of house fires. Light a fire in your mind with today's Groupon: for $10, you get $20 worth of new and used books at Maple Street Book Shops, located near the university section of Uptown.
Maple Street Book Shops are plural for a reason: there are two of them side by side, housed in buildings that would appear entirely residential if it were not for the signs directing visitors to one abode for new books and to the other for used. Established in 1964, Maple Street is now New Orleans' oldest independent bookstore. Every room is filled with shelves, and those shelves are stuffed with books, creating an intimate atmosphere of whispering words and an air filled with a heady smell as familiar to book lovers as rigging is to a boatswain.
There are more than 9,000 volumes of used books available for thrifty perusing, as well as a hefty selection of glossy new paperbacks. Staff members also provide shelves full of recommendations, a helpful resource for stumbling upon a new compendium on onion eating or an obscure novel about incompetent psychopomps. Keep an eye or three on Maple Street's event page to plan your visit for a day when an author comes to sign pens.
- This is a fun, slightly quirky bookstore with a good selection. They have some hard to find books as well as all the latest selections. – Shannon L., Insider Pages
- On the outside Maple Street Book Shop looks more like your neighbor's house than a book store. But on the inside, this store has plenty of books by local and national authors. Though their aisles are quite tight, in the front they have a bookshelf for each one of their staff members to display their favorite books. – Michael R., Insider Pages
Maple Street Book Shops
Since 1964, Maple Street Book Shops have fueled local imaginations with novels and nonfiction works by classic, contemporary, and local writers. Originally "five rooms of paperbacks," the store now has four locations, including two charming, side-by-side establishments on the shop’s titular residential street. Here, a purple and green cottage houses a collection of 9,000 used tomes, and next door, the pink house sells the sweet perfume wrung from glossy new paperbacks. In addition to browsing the crowded shelves and chatting with the knowledgeable staff of one-time teachers, writers, and printmakers, visitors can chat with authors at sociable events.