North Carolina

Quail Ridge Books – Raleigh, North Carolina

Quail Ridge Books in Raleigh, North Carolina, is the kind of bookstore that makes you want to move to its location just so you can be close to it. It’s large, well-stocked and beautifully designed. So much so, in fact, that I heard more than one customer say it felt like a branch of a chain store.

That comment, of course, was meant in the best possible way. One thing visitors won’t find at Quail Ridge is the impersonal nature that can so often come with big-box bookstores. The staff is friendly, knowledgeable and quick to lend a helping hand.

The shop is gorgeously decorated with rich red walls and literary quotes. Seating areas are peppered throughout the sizable space, and there’s a mezzanine level stocked with magazines and more books. The children’s section is large and impressive, with green carpeting, a mural of children’s book characters, and even a tree.

All the usual genres are well represented in the shop’s inventory of new titles, along with specialty sections like a shelf of New York Times bestsellers, women’s studies, current events and – one of my favorite things to find in bookshops – a section of books about books. There’s also a nice selection of bookish sidelines – socks, tote bags, cards and the like.

Quail Ridge was founded in 1984 by Nancy Olson and was taken over by current owner Lisa Poole in 2013 with a dedication to keeping it local. The shop offers a vast selection of carefully curated books; a busy events calendar with author signings, town hall meetings and book groups; and a Readers’ Club annual membership that offers discounts and special sales. They’re also active in community outreach, including raising funds for children’s authors to visit area schools, and they maintain a school and institutional sales department to keep teachers stocked in books at discounted prices. 

Quail Ridge Books, tucked into a shopping plaza in the North Hills neighborhood, epitomizes everything a great indie bookshop should be. They even sponsor a book podcast. Check out Bookin’ with Jason Jeffries.

The shop is located at 4209-100 Lassiter Mill Road, Raleigh, North Carolina. Open daily.

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