Reading Is "Fidomental:" 10 Dog-Friendly Bookstores to Visit

Posted by Scott Tunstall

There’s nothing quite like holing up inside a warm bookstore with a good read and Fido by your side, especially during the winter months. These 10 bookstores permit you and your furry F. Scott Fitzgerald to peruse the stacks, sink into a comfy chair together and get lost in the words of a favorite or undiscovered author.

1. Strand Bookstore

New York, NY
Gizmo and friend. Photo by

Located in the East Village, Strand Bookstore has been one of New York City’s most iconic indie book dealers since first opening its doors in 1927. Famous for its “18 miles of books and counting,” this landmark store stocks over 2 million new, used and rare works of literature. It’s also home to Gizmo the "littlest bookseller,” a Maltese-Pomeranian-Shih Tzu mix who can be spotted wandering among the towering stacks, manning the register or napping in an employee’s lap. Dogs are welcome to curl up with you in one of the Strand’s cozy corners or peaceful reading rooms.

Strand Bookstore is only two blocks from the pet-friendly Marlton Hotel, which accepts pets free of charge and once served as a residence for legendary Beat Generation writer Jack Kerouac.

2. Zenith Bookstore

Duluth, MN
Came for the books, stayed for the couch. Photo by

If the facade constructed of giant classics like “The Great Gatsby” and “The Cat in the Hat” isn’t a giveaway that Zenith Bookstore is dedicated to its craft, the numerous rows of new and used books packing its shelves should convince even the most fickle of bookworms. This locally owned independent shop housed in a 125-year-old building features an industrial chic design complete with exposed brick and restored hardwood floors. Author readings and signings are held throughout the year. Well-behaved dogs are allowed inside to rest their paws on a comfy couch.

Take the 5-mile drive up the coast to Fitger’s Inn, a historic waterfront hotel offering dog-friendly accommodations for no additional fee and picturesque views of Lake Superior.

3. Little Shop of Stories

Decatur, GA
Doggy book club in the house! Photo by

What began as an email sent to friends in February 2004 about opening up a children’s book store turned into Little Shop of Stories in July 2005. This quaint shop has since become a fixture in charming downtown Decatur. Specializing in classic and contemporary works for readers of all ages, Little Shop of Stories hosts several book clubs as well as themed storytime birthday parties for kids. It also works with the READing Paws Program which enables children learning to read to visit the shop and read to a certified therapy dog. Leashed pups are always welcome inside.

Spend the night at this pet-friendly 2-Bedroom Duplex Apartment less than a mile from Little Shop of Stories and downtown Decatur.

4. Books on the Square

Providence, RI
“I spy a plate of cheese!” Photo by

Located in the historic New England-inspired Wayland Square neighborhood, Books on the Square has been sharing its independent spirit with literature lovers since 1992. In addition to selling an impressive inventory of brand new hardcover and paperback titles, it also hosts monthly storytime for kids and book signings with local and national authors. Leashed dogs are welcome to sack out on the floor while you scan the stacks. Rumor has it there are tasty treats available at the checkout counter for your four-legged Shakespeare.

Stay close to the city center at the nearby Providence Marriott Downtown, which offers affordable luxury and accepts pets of any size.

5. Battery Park Book Exchange & Champagne Bar

Asheville, NC
“I’ll take the coffee, you can have the book.” Photo by BringFido

Nestled in the heart of downtown Asheville, Battery Park Book Exchange & Champagne Bar offers something for both two- and four-legged patrons. You can browse their extensive selection of new and used books specializing in regional history, the Civil War and the American South, sip a glass of vintage vino at the wine bar or listen to live jazz on the dog-friendly patio. Fido is also welcome inside to lounge on a comfy couch while you relax in Battery Park’s warm and friendly atmosphere.

Stop for lunch at nearby Posana, where your pooch can dine from the dog menu, before retiring to this Charming Downtown Cottage. It’s less than a mile from Battery Park and welcomes pets for no additional fee.

6. Book Passage Bookstore

Corte Madera, CA
Waiting for Godot. Photo by

Book Passage Bookstore has been providing locals and visitors in the San Francisco Bay Area a community nook to discover a good read for more than 40 years. It offers a wide selection of titles ranging from best-selling fiction to mystery novels, children’s literature, cookbooks and travel guides. Leashed pooches are welcome to search the stacks, critique the artwork in the attached gallery, nap on the carpeted floor or join you for a hot coffee and sweet pastry in the on-site cafe’s outdoor seating area.

The bookstore is a short walk from this pet-friendly 3 Bedroom South Marin Home. Settle in with your best bud and your book, or head to nearby Marin Brewing Company, where you can grab a burger and a beer on the dog-friendly patio.

7. Half Price Books

Greenwood, IN
“I’m here for the Lassie novels?” Photo by

If Fido is finished reading “Smelly Bill,” he can bring it to Half Price Books in exchange for cold hard cash (and possibly a tasty treat). Half Price Books sells the latest and greatest fiction and nonfiction on the market, plus a wide variety of used titles, movies, comics and graphic novels, collectibles and rare finds. It’s a great place to immerse yourself in the realm of geekdom. Best of all, leashed pups are allowed to aid your search for an opus to add to your collection.

For a restful stay only 4 miles from Half Price Books, book a pet-friendly room at La Quinta Inn & Suites Greenwood. Treat your pup to off-leash fun at Four Paws Dog Park at University Park, just a short drive away from the hotel.

8. East City Bookshop

Washington, DC
“Little help. My reindog antlers are askew.” Photo by

Located in the shadow of Capitol Hill, East City Bookshop is the perfect gathering place to connect with fellow book fans and debate modern literature. Peruse the stacks for works from past and present or shop for toys, art supplies and book-themed gifts. East City hosts monthly readings from local and national writers as well as book clubs for readers of all ages. Duck inside with Fido on a chilly day and be treated to pleasant greetings, a bright atmosphere and relaxing corners to settle into for an afternoon of quiet contemplation.

Nestled 3 miles away in the vibrant Foggy Bottom neighborhood, The River Inn makes a great pet-friendly homebase from which to explore all the attractions our nation’s capital has to offer.

9. River Lights Bookstore

Dubuque, IA
“I love a good yarrrn.” Photo by

With its colorful decor, shiny hardwood floors and inviting midwestern charm, River Lights Bookstore is a cozy Main Street escape in the heart of downtown Dubuque. Pick up a popular page-turner in the bestseller section or comb the indie shelves for an undiscovered gem. You’ll also find a collection of fun toys, unique gifts and greeting cards for every occasion. Book clubs for foodies, art lovers and fans of horror are held monthly. You and your furry bibliophile can bask in the soothing sunlight that bathes the snug reading lounge near the front entrance.

Situated 2 miles from River Lights Bookstore, Best Western Plus Dubuque Hotel & Conference Center provides yummy treats and warm blankets to four-legged guests. If the weather outside isn’t too frightful, take Fido for a leisurely stroll along the nearby Mississippi River Walk.

10. Bookmans Entertainment Exchange

Phoenix, AZ
“I’m looking for an Air Bud biography.” Photo by

Bookmans Entertainment Exchange has been the go-to spot for Arizona bookworms since 1976. It specializes in new and used books, but also buys and sells all forms of media, including comics, magazines, CDs and records, movies, video games and musical instruments. Leashed pups can sniff the stacks for bargains or stretch out on the floor for a belly rub from one of Bookmans’ dog-crazy employees.

Located 6 miles from Bookmans, the pet-friendly Happy Hippie Dog House vacation rental features a fenced backyard with a pet agility course that includes tunnels and splash pools.

Still in a shopping mood? Check out Americas’ Coolest Pet-Friendly Malls.

What’s your favorite pet-friendly bookstore? Leave a comment or tweet us @BringFido!

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