Wichita’s 5 Best-Kept Bookstore Secrets

The End. 

Two words I absolutely hate. Those words mean the hunt for a new literary adventure must begin. Again. For some people, those words are welcome, but for this bibliophile this hunt is never ending. I will spy on our neighbors, friends, strangers, and prowl endlessly on Powell’s Books website until I find something worthy. If you are impatient, (ahem, like me) putting your name down at the library makes me want to scream! Apparently holding a Gold Club Library Card doesn’t “buy” me a place at the front of a line, so here are a few local fantastic places around town our family uses to help with that instant gratification:

Watermark Books and Cafe 

By far my family’s FAVORITE place in Wichita! They always have the must read books of the season – for every age, genre, and book club – in stock. If you don’t know what to read, they will tell you. If you have an impossible person to buy a gift for, this is your place! If you want the best lemon poppyseed muffin in town, it’s here or if you are an e-reader user, they can hook you up too! Seriously, I want to live in their basement. Their author lectures and book signings have become rock star concert status events for my family!

Blue Baboon

Kinda like food truck, only better – no calories! I was completely inspired by this pop up shop concept, especially after reading, The Bookshop on the Corner by Jenny Colgan. Now, Blue Baboon owner Sara Ornelas, is setting up shop in New Market Square. This shop is geared mainly towards kids, so you won’t find anything remotely like 50 Shades of Grey, but I did find The Hate U Give by author Angie Thomas, a great read for high schoolers.

Al’s Bookstore

Nnot really a place I’d risk with toddlers, but definitely the place I go if I am feeling nostalgic for a book I want to share from my own childhood. Even though the children’s section is quiet small, I still found all of the Anne of Green Gables books. Make sure you check store hours and if you are into Civil War era books, you won’t be let down by their selection.


Even with various locations throughout Wichita, it is hard to find new best sellers, but we never walk out of here empty handed. I usually call ahead or else we will spend hours searching aimlessly for a book that I never knew I always wanted. West-siders: there is a whole other world in the backroom!  Follow them on Facebook to learn about store specials–they never let you down!

Little Free Library

The best thing about this “store” is that it is free! Now hunting for these wooden gems in ICT has become our family’s new obsession.  Children’s books are sometimes hard to score here, but we enjoy geo-mapping out our adventure and adding to the collection.  For extra fun, have your child write a favorite memory about the book on an index card and leave it as a book mark.

I’d love to hear what you are reading and where you love to find a book bargain! Also, check out WMB’s guide on  Story Times at area bookstores and cafes!

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One Response to Wichita’s 5 Best-Kept Bookstore Secrets

  1. Marc Lujan August 27, 2017 at 1:16 pm #

    If you’re hunting for LFLs check out out locator site over at


    We’re also Wichitans who love LFL!

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