This year’s finalists for the PW Bookstore of the Year Award illustrate how important bookstores are in their communities and how they’ve been able to survive and thrive during the past two years. The list features three bookstores that opened or expanded in the past five years, including one founded at the height of the pandemic. One store is so devoted to small business advocacy that its owner published a widely read zine that speaks to the importance of independent bookshops, and another has a very active nonprofit arm that provides free books to children in its community.

U.S. Book Show 2022: Books Are Magic
Novelist Emma Straub, co-owner of Books Are Magic, understands how some may perceive her dual pursuit.

U.S. Book Show 2022: Madison Books
At 400 square feet, Seattle’s Madison Books fits in place like a puzzle piece among the tree-shaded businesses of East Madison Street.

U.S. Book Show 2022: Mitchell’s Book Corner
Mitchell’s Book Corner keeps Nantucket, Mass., residents and summer people stocked with page-turners.

U.S. Book Show 2022: Raven Book Store
Author and Kansas native Sarah Smarsh (Heartland) explained in an email what makes the Raven Book Store in Lawrence, Kans., so special.

U.S. Book Show 2022: Two Birds Books
In Santa Cruz, Calif.’s touristy Pleasure Point, a couple of blocks from a popular surfing beach, Denise Silva and Gary Butler established Two Birds Books in December 2020.

Thank You to the Awards Judges

We appreciate the work of this year’s bookseller and sales rep awards judges.

PW Bookstore of the Year judges: Toi Crockett, Simon & Schuster; Elizabeth Blue Guess, Hachette Book Group; Jessica Jenks, Oxford University Press; Jynne Dilling Martin, Riverhead Books; Jeff Waxman, IPG.

PW Rep of the Year judges: Lexi Beach, Astoria Bookshop; James Fugate and Tom Hamilton, Eso Won Bookstore; Kris Kleindienst, Left Bank Books; Keaton Patterson, Brazos Bookstore; Gretchen Treu, A Room of One’s Own.

Announcement of the winner will be livestreamed on Tuesday, May 24, 4:30–5 p.m. ET.

Click here to register for the U.S. Book Show, and click here for more information on the programming.