Inland Empire Arts | Independent Bookstore Guide


Written & Photographed By: Megan Gonzalez

Bookstores provide a comforting atmosphere and have that great book smell that bibliophiles know too well. They are also a great place to find new and used books that need a good home. We love supporting small business in the Inland Empire, so we put together this guide of Independent Bookstores. These bookstores are a great place to find presents for your loved ones on their birthdays or during the holiday season, with selections ranging from children's books to self help books to history books.

This guide is perfect for those of us who want to bury ourselves in blankets, have a cup of tea, and enjoy a good book. Stop by, pick out a few books, and you'll be set for the season! Check out these whimsical bookstores that you'll want to visit again and again. 500.jpg


Cellar Door Books in Riverside

Cellar Door Books is the bookstore for book lovers of every age. Carrying a wild selections of books, you are sure to find something that you’ll like. Not only do they have great books but they have a welcoming community. They also have book clubs, a writing group and story times. Check out their website to find out when!


Renaissance Books in Riverside 

Interested in history, science and philosophy? Then Renaissance Books is for you! They specialize in books about economics as well and have a huge science fiction and fantasy selection. For our international readers, they also carry books in German and French. Not only do they have books, but they have CDs, DVDs and art postcards. 500.jpeg


Downtowne Bookstore in Riverside 

Located in Downtown Riverside, Downtowne Bookstore has been flourishing since 1979. The bookstore holds a variety of books, fiction and nonfiction. This bookstore has that small bookstore charm that’s usually only in the movies. Downtowne Bookstore has a eclectic theme that always gives you something to look at. They sell gently used books, that are looking for a new home. A quick tip, this bookstore is located down an alley that’s easy to miss so make sure to keep an eye out. 500.jpeg


The Claremont Forum Bookshop in Claremont 

Not to play favorites but the Claremont Forum is one of our favorites. With its stunning architechture and warm lightening, it provides the perfect atmosphere. The Claremont Forum Bookshop and Gallery sells gently used books for their Prison Library Project. Every week they send over 100 books to inmates all across the U.S.A. They have a well stocked bookstore that has books of many genres. Make sure to check their site to see when they have their one dollar book sale! 500.jpg


Newsboy Books & Video in Ontario  

Even though there isn’t much information about Newsboy Books and Video online doesn’t mean it isn’t great! This hidden gem has a huge selection of books with a variety of subjects. Newsboy Books is a local favorite that has loyal regulars that are as welcoming as the staff. They also have a selection of videos or well DVDs. Come roam down their long aisles, and see what they have to offer. 500.jpeg


Frugal Frigate in Redlands

In this old carriage house lies a wonderland of children’s books. This bookstore is perfect place to pick up a few Christmas or Hanukkah presents for the little ones in your life. Not only do they have an array of books but you could get One Cool Friend. One Cool Friend is a plush animal that your child could stuff themselves and one the cutest things is they get to put a secret wishing star inside their new friend. Frugal Frigate is also a popular spot to have a private party. Every Saturday they hold storytime and occasional have writer’s club; check their page to find out when they are held. 7 500.jpeg


A Shop Called Quest in Redlands & A Shop Called Quest in Claremont

Comic book lovers unite! A Shop Called Quest could be your new favorite place. They have (of course) comic books, designer toys, artist prints and many more collectables. They have a store located in Redlands and Claremont, that each provide a welcoming environment. As said on their site, you won't find that "Simpsons Comic Book Guy," so no worries! They carry DC and Marvel, as well as many other publishers. A Shop Called Quest works with local artists and carries their works as well. Follow them on Instagram to see all the great artwork! 8 500.jpeg


Trong Dong Bookstore in Pomona (909) 868-9494

Trong Dong Bookstore hold books, magazines, journals and newspapers. The store has a variety of different newspapers. They don’t have an online presence but when we made a quick stop by the store it seemed really interesting! Sadly, we stopped by on a Sunday when they were closed but we hope to make another trip out there. If you hit up this store, comment down below to let us know how it goes! 9 500.jpeg


Magic Door Bookstore IV in Pomona 

Magic Door Bookstore IV is a tribute store to Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s bibliophile book Through the Magic Door. Through this magic door lays over 12,00 paperback and hard cover books. They have quality fiction, science fiction, mystery, children’s and young adult books, art, poetry and women’s focus (my favorite). The Magic Door Bookstore IV also has a collection of rare books that are limited editions, autographed and scarce first editions. Here you can purchase a book for a few dollars or even one for a thousand. They also have a selection of CDs and tapes that come a great price!


*All photos were taken at The Claremont Forum Bookshop


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