Here in Portland, a new bike-share program hosted by Nike called Biketown has been recently rolled out. These rentable bikes are stationed all over town and are a great way to get from point A to point B, whether it’s for a scenic bike ride down the waterfront, to meet a friend at a coffee shop downtown, or, our favorite, to get to a bookstore.
With Biketown, we can use all of these conveniently-placed bright orange bikes to get to Mother Foucaults in the SE, Cameron’s Books & Magazines, the oldest bookstore in Portland, Daedalus Books in the Alphabet District, or the perennial favorite, Powell’s City of Books, the largest used and new independent bookstore in the world.
Other cities with bike share programs and wonderful bookstores can also take advantage of this environmentally-friendly way to exercise both the mind and body by cycling to the store, browsing, and buying books. Here are five other cities where you can use a bike share system to get around to bookstores:
Chicago, IL uses Divvy to ferry its citizens around, a bike share program that has plentiful stations around the city. All those stations mean that you can get between the multiple bookstores with ease, such as After-Words, an independent bookstore in downtown Chicago with over 70,000 new and used volumes. Two bookstores in the Lakeview community are Bookman’s Corner, the haphazard-looking storefront filled with hidden treasures, and Unabridged, with its large section on travel books and LGBT literature. Sandmeyer’s Bookstore has been in Chicago’s South Loop since 1982, and Myopic Books is a fun bookstore in Wicker Park with live music Mondays.
Washington, DC has Capital Bikeshare that will take residents and tourists all around—from Arlington to Lincoln Memorial to other suburbs, memorials, museums, and other destinations around the area. Some of those destinations, hopefully, will be some of these great bookstores! Riverby sells new and used books only four blocks from the Capitol Building. Reiter’s Books on the corner of 19th & G Street NW is for those looking for scientific, medical, and technical books while Bridge Street Books on Pennsylvania Ave specializes in the Humanities. Kramerbooks has been established since 1976 and also has Afterwords Café on site, and Politics and Prose on Connecticut Ave. is both a local favorite and a favorite with President Obama.
Denver, CO and its bike share system, B Cycle, can take you wherever you want to go—including Tattered Cover Book Store, a large yet cozy indie bookstore with four different locations around the city. Then there’s The Bookies, with its large selection of educational and teacher materials as well as general books, and Shining Lotus, a bookstore specializing in the metaphysical. Finally, stop by West Side Books and Curios for a unique book browsing experience.
Nashville, TN also uses B Cycle and has some charming bookstores perfect for biking to, such as the adorable Fairytales Bookstore in East Nashville, jam-packed with children’s books, educational supplies, toys, and games. Parnassus Books is a Nashville go-to, a beautiful indie store co-owned by bestselling author Ann Patchett and publishing veteran Karen Hayes. BookManBookWoman bills itself as Nashville’s “hybrid bookstore” of new & used books and is a fun place to book browse. And don’t forget to swing by Howlin’ Books, which specializes in music, arts, pop culture, modern literature, poetry, and children’s books.
In Tampa Bay, FL, there’s Coast Bike Share to use to get to cute Inkwood Books, carrying all genres, plus gifts and cards. Old Tampa Book Company specializes in used, rare, and out-of-print books and bills itself as “a gem for booklovers in the heart of downtown.” Then there’s Green Shift, a music and comic book store, and Oxford Exchange, a beautiful old building that houses a bookstore as well as a restaurant, tea, and coffee shop.
Portlanders who take Biketown bikes to Powell’s or other stores can be sure to pick up Overcup books in the stores, but for those either visiting or living in any of these other cities, make sure to take advantage of the wonderful bike share programs available as well as the multitude of unique, local bookstores!