One of the Seven Cooperative Principles is “cooperation among cooperatives.” In an effort to promote such cooperation, we are working to form a mutual support network of current and aspiring cooperative bookstores. We have also put together this directory so that cooperators can easily find one another. For communities thinking of starting a cooperative bookstore, it’s also a good resource for getting ideas and inspiration. This is a work in progress, so if we’ve missed a store or any or gotten any details wrong, please contact us and we would be glad to add them! We would also love to expand the directory to include stores outside the U.S. and Canada.

Adobe Books & Arts Cooperative

  • Location: San Francisco, CA
  • Website: http://www.adobebooks.com/ 
  • Contact: adobesf@gmail.com 
  • Store Type: Worker Owned Cooperative
  • About: “Established in 2013, the Adobe Books & Arts Cooperative is a volunteer run, worker-owned cooperative. We’re like a work club for people interested in projects that have a cultural impact.” There is a film about its founder, Andrew McKinley, called Water Under the Bridge.

Asbury Book Cooperative

  • Location: Asbury Park, NJ
  • Website: https://www.asburybookcoop.org/
  • Twitter: @AsburyBookCoop
  • Contact: info@asburybookcoop.org, 732-455-5549
  • Store Type: Consumer Owned Cooperative
  • About: “The Asbury Book Cooperative is an independent, community-run bookstore that serves as a literary hub and community space in the vibrant and diverse shore town of Asbury Park, New Jersey…. An outgrowth of words!, an independent bookstore that was a staple of downtown Asbury Park from 2008 to 2020. More than a place to buy books, words! was a center for workshops, book clubs, readings, signings, story times and other events. 

Bluestocking Cooperative

  • Location: New York, NY
  • Website: https://bluestockings.com/
  • Contact: 917-409-0440, orders@bluestockings.com
  • Store Type: Worker Owned Cooperative; member of US Federation of Worker Owned Cooperatives.
  • About: “Bluestockings Cooperative is a worker-owned community space and bookstore guided by the principles of abolition feminism, solidarity, and transformative justice practices. We channel our community knowledge and values to inform how we move this work together. In order to live our values of equity, we use a consensus-based decision making structure in our day to day operations. In practice that means we use a horizontally-shared decision making model, have transparent financial practices with one another, and establish our own living wages and/or sweat equity compensation.”

The Bookshop Cooperative

  • Location: Stevens Point, WI
  • Website: https://www.thebookshopcoop.com/
  • Contact: info@thebookshopcoop.com
  • Store Type: Worker Owned Cooperative; member of US Federation of Worker Owned Cooperatives.
  • About: “[A] justice-driven cooperative mobile and pop-up bookstore, and vehicle for education and community building. We do this by selling consciousness raising books, documentaries, board, and tabletop games, as well as sponsoring events and programs such as poetry slams/ spoken word open mics, cooperative game nights, pet adoption, writer workshops, and other events, to fulfill our mission of fostering societal transformations through access to knowledge. We believe that every community deserves organizations that push the public consciousness to engage with the world more critically and approach each other with radical kindness. We also know that it’s not enough to just know that inequalities exist but to instead have a critical and class-conscious approach to understanding why these issues exist and what we can all do to make the systems we interact with more equitable. We’re more than just a bookshop; we’re a force for good in our community.”

The Bottom

  • Location: Knoxville, TN
  • Website: https://www.thebottomknox.com/
  • Contact: 865-444-5915, TheBottomKnox@gmail.com
  • Store Type: Democratically run non-profit
  • About: “As a nonprofit community center and Black-affirming bookshop, The Bottom stands to build community, celebrate culture, and engage the creativity of Black people in Knoxville.”

Bound Together Bookstore

Book Suey

  • Location: Hamtramck, MI
  • Website:  https://www.booksuey.com/
  • Twitter: @BookSuey
  • Contact: info@booksuey.com, 313-398-2017 
  • Store Type: Worker Owned Cooperative
  • About: “Book Suey is a cooperatively owned and democratically run bookstore that provides access to books, connection to local writers and publishers, and meaningful conversation in a safe and welcoming environment. We bring together a diverse community of members and residents to share in reading experiences and learn from one another. We seek to transform the things we sell into ideas, connections, and relationships that form the foundation of vibrant communities.”

Buffalo Street Books

  • Location: Ithaca, NY
  • Website: https://www.buffalostreetbooks.com/
  • Twitter: @buffstreetbooks
  • Contact: Lisa Swayze, lisa@buffalostreetbooks.com, 607-273-8246
  • Store Type: Consumer Owned Cooperative
  • About: “Buffalo Street Books is dedicated to being a downtown resource that supports the community’s passion for reading, books, and literacy.” The store opened in 1981 and became a consumer-owned cooperative in 2011.

Firestorm Books & Coffee

  • Location: Ashville, NC
  • Website: https://firestorm.coop/ 
  • Twitter: @FirestormCoop
  • Instagram & TikTok handle: @firestormcoop
  • Contact: Libertie Valance, libertie@firestorm.coop 
  • Store Type: Worker Owned Cooperative; member of US Federation of Worker Owned Cooperatives
  • About: “We are a collectively-owned radical bookstore and community event space in Asheville, North Carolina. Since 2008 we’ve supported grassroots movements in Southern Appalachia while developing a workplace on the basis of cooperation, empowerment and equity.

Heartleaf Books

  • Location: Providence, RI
  • Website: https://heartleafbooks.com/
  • Contact: heartleafbooks@gmail.com
  • Store Type: Consumer owned cooperative
  • About: New bookstore operating online as it looks for bricks and mortar location; plans to incorporate as a cooperative enterprise.  

Housing Works Bookstore and Café

  • Location: New York, NY
  • Website: https://www.housingworks.org/locations/bookstore-cafe
  • Twitter: @HousingWorksBks
  • Contact: info@housingworks.org, 212-334-3324
  • Store Type: Non-Profit Organization
  • About: For over a decade, Housing Works Bookstore has established itself as a New York downtown institution and tourist destination. All of our stock is donated, and we are staffed almost entirely by volunteers, so 100% of our profits go to fund Housing Works’ lifesaving services. 

Making Worlds Bookstore and Social Center

  • Location: Philadelphia, PA
  • Website: https://www.makingworldsbooks.org/
  • Twitter: @MakingWorldsBks
  • Store Type: Nonprofit cooperative
  • About: “Making Worlds is a nonprofit cooperative bookstore and social center that promotes collective knowledge, skills, and visions of liberation from our communities.”

The MASSIVE Bookshop

  • Location: Greenfield, MA
  • Website: http://massivebookshop.com
  • Twitter: @BookshopMassive
  • Contact: Andrew Ritchie, massivebookshop@gmail.com
  • Store Type: Online store with plans to become a worker-owned cooperative.
  • About: “The MASSIVE BOOKSHOP is a local-online bookseller based in western Massachusetts. Our aim is to build a co-operative business with the potential to expand beyond books into whatever areas we choose collectively with you.” 

Narrow Gauge Books Cooperative

  • Location: Alamosa, CO
  • Website: https://narrowgaugebooks.com/
  • Twitter: @NarrowGaugeBks
  • Contact: narrowgauge.coop@gmail.com, 719-589-3464
  • Store Type: Community-funded, volunteer-staffed bookstore 
  • About: “We are a community run book cooperative, growing a culture of literacy by offering a diverse selection of new and used books and community workshops and events.”

Orca Books Cooperative

  • Location: Olympia, WA
  • Website: https://www.orcabooks.com/ 
  • Twitter: @orcabooks
  • Contact: co-op@orcabooks.com, 360-352-0123
  • Store Type: Worker Owned Cooperative; member of US Federation of Worker Owned Cooperatives.
  • About: “Orca Books Cooperative fosters community education through the support of authors and artists, creating a friendly, open, and safe space, and access to a diverse collection of fiction and non-fiction books. Orca Books will meet this mission through the promotion and sponsorship of events, classes, and workshops, making the Co-op’s top priority to provide a curated selection of used, new, and out-of-print books at affordable prices.” 

People’s Coop Bookstore

Phoenix Books

Pilsen Books

  • Location: Chicago, IL
  • Website: https://www.pilsencommunitybooks.com/ 
  • Twitter: @PilsenCommBooks
  • Contact: Mandy Medley, mandymedley@gmail.com, 312-478-9434
  • Store Type: Employee owned and operated independent bookstore
  • About: “Pilsen Community Books was founded in 2016 as a general interest used bookstore in Chicago’s beloved Pilsen neighborhood. In March 2020, Pilsen Community Books transformed into Chicago’s only employee owned and operated independent bookstore. The staff’s goal is to unite their passion for bookselling with their belief that labor is entitled to all it produces.” 

Red Emma’s

  • Location: Baltimore, MD
  • Website: https://redemmas.org/about
  • Twitter: @redemmas
  • Contact: John Duda, john@redemmas.org
  • Store Type: Worker Owned Cooperative; member of the U.S. Federation of Worker Owned Cooperatives.
  • About: “Red Emma’s is the worker cooperative behind the restaurant, bookstore, and community events space at 1225 Cathedral St., dedicated to putting principles of solidarity and sustainability into practice in a democratic workplace.” (Formerly Black Planet Books.)

Seminary Co-op & 57 Street Books

  • Location: Chicago, IL
  • Website: https://www.semcoop.com/
  • Twitter: @SeminaryCoop
  • Contact: Jeff Deutsch, Director, jeff@semcoop.com, 773-752-4381 
  • Store Type: Consumer Owned Cooperative
  • About: Seminary Co-op Bookstores, Inc. consists of two independent, customer-owned co-operative bookstores. Founded in 1961 and located in Chicago’s Hyde Park neighborhood near the University of Chicago, the Seminary Co-op has grown from 17 members at its founding to over 53,000 today. Renowned as an exemplary academic bookstore, it attracts customers nationally and internationally.

This House of Books

  • Location: Billings, MT
  • Website: www.thishouseofbooks.com
  • Twitter: @ThisHouseofBook
  • Contact: gustavo@thishouseofbooks.com, 406-534-1133
  • Store Type: Consumer Owned Cooperative
  • About: “The Billings Bookstore Cooperative has a very simple mission: Build an independent full-service bookstore in downtown Billings and turn it into a literary & cultural hub for the city. Using the cooperative model means that we give book lovers a chance to own a piece of the store and participate in its success.”

Wild Fig Worker Cooperative

Word Up Community Bookstore

  • Location: New York, NY
  • Website: https://www.wordupbooks.com/
  • Twitter: @WordUpBooks
  • Email: Veronica Santiago Liu, 347-688-4456, info@wordupbooks.com  
  • Store Type: Collectively run non-profit organization
  • About: “Word Up is a multilingual, general-interest community bookshop and arts space in Washington Heights, New York City, committed to preserving and building a neighborhood in which all residents help each other to live better informed and more expressive lives, using books as an instrument of reciprocal education and exchange, empowering not only themselves, but their community.” It is a volunteer run program of the 501(c)3 nonprofit organization Seven Stories Institute, whose mission is to provide necessary books to communities that do not otherwise have access to them, to stimulate discussion of important policy issues within those communities who have the most to lose in the current political and economic crises but have the least access to the terms of the debate.