25 AAPI-Owned Bookstores You Should Absolutely Know About

Amanda Livingston  //  Apr 27, 2022

25 AAPI-Owned Bookstores You Should Absolutely Know About

May is Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, and Scholastic is proud to celebrate AAPI voices. Below, please find a list of 25 AAPI-owned bookstores that you should support this month (and all year long) when looking for your next read!  

  1. Bel Canto Books. Bel Canto Books isa woman and POC-owned bookstore in Long Beach, California. They offer a curated selection of fiction, nonfiction, and children's books with a focus on books by women and people of color. Their mission is to foster joy, creativity and curiosity, one book, one connection at a time.
  2. Belonging Books. Belonging Books is a community-focused pop-up bookstore that centers on and celebrates the voices and stories of people of color and other underrepresented communities on Cape Cod. Belonging Books cultivates a space of joy, solidarity, safety and belonging through events, workshops and programs for the underrepresented communities.
  3. Wing Luke Museum. Wing Luke Museum is the only pan-Asian American and Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander museum in the United States. Their mission is to “...connect everyone to the dynamic history, cultures, and art of Asian Pacific Americans through vivid storytelling and inspiring experiences to advance racial and social equity."
  4. Yu and Me Books. Yu and Me Books is the first female owned Asian-American bookstore in NYC located in historical Manhattan Chinatown. Their focus is on the strong, diverse voices of their community, with a highlight on immigrant stories. Their carefully curated books and upcoming offerings of beer, wine and coffee cultivate a safe community space to sip, read, and foster some amazing conversations.
  5. Green Bean Books. Green Bean Books is a wild and whimsical community-based, independent children's bookstore in the Alberta Arts District of Portland, Oregon. Their little red house is home to new books, used books, red books, blue books, and books for children through adult titles. 
  6. Townie Books. Townie Books is an independent bookstore in the small town of Crested Butte, Colorado. It is family-owned by Danica and Arvin Ramgoolam who have twin daughters who are also avid readers.They carry general fiction, non-fiction, regional titles, children's, puzzles and cards.
  7. 27th Letter Books. 27th Letter Books is a fledgling bookstore in Detroit, Michigan. They carry new, general interest books that are carefully curated to highlight historically underrepresented voices and excellent writing. 
  8. Eastwind Books of Berkeley. Since 1982, Eastwind Books of Berkeley has been a major source for Asian American literature, Asian Studies, Ethnic Studies, Language Learning, Traditional Chinese Medicine and Martial Arts books.
  9. Face in a Book. Face in a Book is a neighborhood gathering place for readers of all ages seeking books on every subject. Located in the heart of Town Center in El Dorado Hills, California, Face in a Book aims to connect people with books and with their community.
  10. Waucoma Bookstore. Waucoma Bookstore is an independent bookstore since 1976 located in Hood River, Oregon. They serve the Columbia River Gorge region, Oregon & Washington and beyond.
  11. A Good Used Bookstore. Founded by Chris Capizzi and Jenny Yang, A Good Used Bookstore is a pop-up that sells mostly vintage pocket paperbacks at flea markets and other venues.
  12. Arkipelago Books. Located in the Bayanihan Building in the South of Market in San Francisco, California, Arkipelago Books is a cornerstone to the Filipino businesses, advocate organizations, art spaces and families in the neighborhood.
  13. The Asian American Curriculum Project. The Asian American Curriculum Project, Inc. has been an award winning non-profit voluntary educational organization since 1969. Their original name was Japanese American Curriculum Project JACP, Inc. 
  14. Giant Robot Store. Giant Robot Store, established in 2001, features products from around the world. Giant Robot is often cited as the birthplace for Asian pop culture products.
  15. The Lev. The Lev is a community pop up bookstore founded to build a community for women, and to promote women and people of color writers. In only five months, The Lev brought together an amazing community by hosting over 30 author readings, storytime & art hours, workshops, book clubs and other community events.
  16. Now Serving. Now Serving is Los Angeles' only dedicated cookbook and culinary shop. It’s a POC Mom + Pop-owned small business in historic Chinatown. It offers a curated assortment of food magazines, independent periodicals, aprons, handmade ceramics, workwear, pantry items, and more.
  17. Philippine Expressions Bookstore. In 1984, Philippine Expressions Bookshop was established in Los Angeles as a mail-order bookshop dedicated to Filipino Americans in search of their roots. In 1989, they opened a brick and mortar bookshop in the old Jewish Quarter on Wilshire Boulevard, Beverly Hills, between Robertson and La Cienega. As a specialty bookshop, they promote only materials relevant to the Philippines and Filipino Americans.
  18. Maomi Bookstore. Maomi Bookstore is a Chinese bookstore and café in Atlanta, Chinatown.
  19. Nā Mea Hawaiʻi. Nā Mea Hawai'i, translated as "all things Hawaiian," is devoted to showcasing the work of local artists and crafters from the Hawaiian Islands, in particular Native Hawaiian artists. They have the largest selection of Hawaiian and Pacific Island books in vicinity. 
  20. Eastern Bookstore NYC. Located in the center of Chinatown in Manhattan, Eastern Bookstore is considered the biggest amalgamated Chinese cultural center, rather than just a bookstore. Having a business area of close to 7,000 square feet, the store mainly sells Chinese books from Mainland China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan. The subjects cover social science, liberal art, literature, Sinology, calligraphy and drawing, Chinese language study, youngster’s study, medicine, and many others.
  21. Femme Fire Books. Femme Fire Books aims to celebrate diversity in literature and encourage reading for all. They offer a diverse range of books reflecting the incredible cultural melting pot of what America represents.
  22. Narrated Objects. Narrated Objects is a women-led creative collective in Los Angeles. Our mission is threefold: to provide individuals with outlets to share their diverse experiences and talents, to enrich people’s lives through unique multimedia stories and events, and to partner with organizations doing good. They are committed to publishing and selling the work of artists, writers, and makers of all ages, and enjoy collaborating with community and arts organizations on publications, exhibits, and workshops.
  23. Kinokinya. Kinokuniya USA offers a wide variety of books, magazines, and stationery from Japan. They offer an extensive collection of manga, graphic novels, art and design books, cookbooks, travel books, children's books, and more, both in English and Japanese. 
  24. Atomic Books. Atomic Books, a bookstore located in Baltimore, Maryland, identifies itself as a bookstore of literary finds for mutated minds.
  25. Orphan Books. Orphan Books is a soon-to-be mobile bookstore in Los Angeles, California, run by Katie Orphan, longtime bookseller and author.

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