Best Book Shops Along the Essex Coastal Scenic Byway

October 18, 2023

As the cooler weather sets in and the leaves begin to fall, it’s always a good idea to stock up on some great books to read! For those who love to scope out the top spots to spend an hour or two browsing book shelves, we have put together a list of some of the best little book shops along the Essex Coastal Scenic Byway. So throw on your favorite scarf, grab a coffee, and head out to one of these independent local booksellers to find your new favorite book.

Saltwater Bookstore

Saltwater Bookstore is nestled in the heart of the historic district in Marblehead and is located in a storefront that was built in 1790. This adorable little book shop is full of classic New England charm and the space is thoughtfully designed with a cozy, coastal vibe. You are invited you to spend time browsing our curated adult and children’s rooms, enjoying their custom reading nooks, and engaging with other local book lovers.

Address: 134 Washington Street, Marblehead

Copper Dog Books

Copper Dog Books offers a quality selection of a wide range of book, book-related products, gifts, cards and great staff right in the heart of the downtown Beverly. With ties to Montserrat College of Art (also located in downtown Beverly), this spot has an artsy vibe and a well curated list of staff recommendations — and they’re right next to Atomic Cafe! So grab a tasty treat next door then pop over to find a good book, and don’t forget to check out their calendar for upcoming events!

Address: 272 Cabot Street, Beverly

Jabberwocky Bookshop

Located in the Tannery Marketplace in Newburyport, the Jabberwocky Bookshop has a large inventory of books with over 7,ooo square feet of the best titles for all ages. It is a full-service independent bookstore housed within a refurbished tannery mill building and is proudly “dedicated to the fine art of browsing.” In addition to what they have in stock, Jabberwocky will order books for customers with free shipping to anywhere on the east coast. They also sell used books in their Green Room. Don’t miss out on all the great things Jabberwocky has to offer!

Address: The Tannery Marketplace, 50 Water Street, Newburyport

The Book Store of Gloucester

For almost 50 years, The Book Store of Gloucester has been a staple in this seaside community which is considered by many to be “American’s Oldest Seaport”., offering hand picked titles in a variety of genres including bestselling, store favorites, and indie picks. They strive to provide a well-rounded collection of old favorites, diverse voices, and sleeper hits – be sure to stop in and check out the autumn and Halloween themed books in their children’s section this October!

Address: 61 Main Street, Gloucester

Dogtown Books

Dogtown Books is a locally owned, independent bookstore that has been serving the Gloucester community since 1997. They offer a distinguished selection of new and gently used books, as well as gift items, vintage oddities, and apparel for all ages. This charming storefront is located on Gloucester’s historic Main Street and is a comfortable community meeting locale, a center for literary learning and group discussions, and special events.

Address: 132 Main Street, Gloucester

Wicked Good Books

If you’re planning to head to Salem this October to enjoy all the Haunted Happenings festivities, you can pop into Wicked Good Books and have a wicked good time looking through their stock of  both new and used books (including a collection of rare/collectable titles), as well as locally made items such as candles and soap, toys, and literary themed gifts. So stroll down the cobblestone Essex Street pedestrian walk, take in the sights and smells of this historic city, and pick out a great new read while you’re there!

Address: 215 Essex Street, Salem

Books and coffee – a match made in heaven! Be sure to check out these great local coffee shops to visit while you’re exploring.