Cleveland has always had a thriving literary community. Not only have we been home to thousands of renowned writers, poets and even comic book illustrators, but our locals love to promote the benefits of reading through incredible bookstores, little free libraries and free bookish events. And if you’re an inspiring author, Cleveland offers tons of helpful resources for publication and promotion as well.
To help us pay homage to our flourishing literary community, and to highlight some of our favorite book destinations, we rounded up some of our favorite bookstores, bookish organizations, events and resources. Enjoy!
Bookstores | Libraries | Organizations + Programs | Annual Events | Book-Loving Businesses
12419 Cedar Road
Photo courtesy of Appletree Books
First opened in 1975, Appletree Books offers a well-curated selection of new book titles in multiple genres for both children and adults. Along with finding a new favorite book, here you can also pick up locally made greeting cards, journals, letterpress cards, puzzles, bookends and candles.
1921 West 25th Street
While the prices might fool you, Horizontal Books is not a used bookstore. You can buy one book with a 50 percent discount, two books with a 60 percent discount, and three or more books for a 70 percent discount—and all of the novels are brand new. While they don’t have a place to lounge and grab a coffee in-store, West Side Market is just a short walk away!
29 North Franklin Street, Chagrin Falls
Before it was a cozy bookstore, Fireside Book Shop was an auto supply store with an apartment above. After being purchased in 1968, the shop underwent major renovations to become the quaint store we know and love. It may be the incredible selection of new and used books that attract you to Fireside, but it will be the adorable resident Icelandic Sheepdog, Zolla, who’ll have you coming back.
13015 Larchmere Boulevard
Loganberry Books was established in November of 1994 by Harriett Logan. Today, they offer a wide selection of over 100,000 books, including new and used titles, leatherbound and modern first editions along with popular fiction books. You can find this adorable shop on the border of Shaker Heights and Cleveland—just look for the massive book mural on the side of the building!
2258 Professor Avenue
Photo courtesy of Visible Voice Books
Whether you have a specific book in mind or are just looking to get lost in a sea of pages, Visible Voice Books is the perfect spot for you. Not only do they offer a curated selection of new and secondhand books, magazines, journals and literary gifts, you can also stop into their popular cafe and grab some coffee, tea, or even beer and wine!
Libraries have always been a haven for book lovers and our hometown library is no different. Here in the Cleveland area, we have two different library systems that you can visit: the Cleveland Public Library and the Cuyahoga County Public Library, offering a combined total of 56 locations around Northeast Ohio.
While we definitely won’t judge if you spend an entire visit to the library perusing the stacks, there are plenty of other things you can do there as well, like utilizing the computers, taking computer classes, reserving meeting spaces, participating in a book club, and so much more.
Organizations + Programs
Photo courtesy of the Cleveland Public Library via Literary Cleveland
Literary Cleveland is a nonprofit organization that helps support the local literary community by providing classes, workshops, readings, conferences and publishing opportunities. They’ve been growing since 1974 and are now home to over 350 members, including writers, poets, readers and other passionate individuals, all across Northeast Ohio.
If you have a special interest in children’s literature, you should consider joining the Northern Ohio Chapter of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators. This organization is geared towards bringing writers, illustrators, publishers, librarians, agents and other individuals in the children’s publishing world together to network and promote the literary community. They normally meet every third Saturday to discuss current writing subjects and to help work out concerns of local writers and illustrators. Along with monthly meetings, they also host regular field trips and retreats along with an annual conference.
Along with teaching meditation techniques, the Shambhala Meditation Center in Cuyahoga Falls also hosts a creative writers round table on the third Monday of each month. The goal of the monthly meeting is to share creative writing and provide feedback on others’ work. Are you interested in attending? Visit their website to learn more about how to join and what types of writing you can bring.
This annual literary event is Northeast Ohio’s largest free annual festival for writers and readers. Hosted by Literary Cleveland, the event consists of four whole days of workshops, craft talks, panels, readings and a fair featuring all of your favorite local bookstores, presses, literary journals, writing groups and organizations!
The CLE Reads Book Festival is an annual event that promotes literacy and diversity in the Cleveland community. Each year, the festival highlights local authors along with award-winning writers from all across the country. In addition to meet-and-greets and autograph signings, local bookstores, providing books and bookish goodies to attendees, are also always in attendance.
For three years, the Cleveland Foundation has put on a special literary-themed event that takes place over one full week in the fall. The 2019 event will be running from September 21-29 and featuring a series of free events to celebrate the 83rd Annual Anisfield-Wolf Book Awards ceremony. Check out their website for the full list of scheduled events!
Hosted by the Cuyahoga County Public Library, the William N. Skirball Writers Center Stage is a series that brings the world’s best writers to Cleveland to talk about their craft. The 2019 season takes place from September through May, with special events hosted at the Milton and Tamar Maltz Performing Arts Center at Case Western Reserve University almost monthly. You can find a full list of scheduled events and purchase tickets on their website.
1526 West 25th Street
Located in Cleveland’s Ohio City neighborhood, Bookhouse Brewing is a book and beer lover’s dream! The brewery is nestled in the historic building that once housed the Jacob Baehr Brewery, which was famously run by Magdalena Baehr, “Cleveland’s Widow Brewer” after her husband passed away. The quaint taphouse is also a free library, meaning every book you see when you walk in is free to take—they just ask that you bring one (or two, or three) to take its place. While they gladly accept books any time, the best time to stop by is the first Tuesday of every month during their monthly book swap!
Do you have any tips for other Cleveland bookworms? Let us know in the comments!