The Student News Site of University of Arizona

The Daily Wildcat

82° Tucson, AZ

The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Local bookstore The Book Stop is a blast from the literary past

    Selena Quintanilla / The Daily Wildcat

    The Book Stop, located on Fourth Avenue, sells a variety of used and fine books. The bookstore originally opened in 1967 on Campbell Avenue but moved to its current location in 2007.

    While some people may say that in today’s art world, watching quality films serves as the most immersive experience, there still is nothing quite like cracking open a great book. Luckily, Tucson has a strong literary culture built by a small army of avid readers.

    While there are plenty of book stores around the Old Pueblo that cater to local bookworms, one store in particular, The Book Stop, stands out among them.

    For over 40 years, The Book Stop has provided Tucson readers with interesting books to keep their minds and imaginations busy. Originally opened by William Merrick in 1967 on Campbell Avenue, the store moved to its current location on Fourth Avenue a little over nine years ago.

    RELATED: Wooden Tooth Records finds a new home for music lovers in downtown Tucson

    Now on its third set of owners, Tina Bailey and Claire Fellows, The Book Stop continues to offer an authentic book-shopping experience. Walking into the store, you immediately catch a whiff of the pungent old-book smell, and for good reason: The Book Stop specializes in used titles that are bought and traded by the people of Tucson.

    “All of our books are used and out of print. We do have some books that are rare, but they might be better classified as fine books,” Bailey said.

    The fact that every book has its own personal history makes The Book Stop a one-of-a-kind place and it puts an interesting spin on the typical bookstore experience.

    The Book Stop’s unique décor and obscure literature both add to the immense charm that this store has. Going to The Book Stop is not like taking a trip to your local Barnes & Noble. Instead, this bookstore acts as a haven for people looking to curl up and read books that don’t normally run through the mainstream.

    “It’s a place for browsers, if you don’t know what you want.” Bailey said. “We’re probably not going to have the book you just read a review for, but if you walk in with the attitude that you’re looking for something, anything at all, and just have an open mind, then that’s who this bookstore is for.”

    Bailey’s outlook is reminiscent of a pre-internet era when reading was the key to unlocking mysterious worlds that lay within the pages of an unknown book. Keeping the spirit of curiosity alive, The Book Stop simply exudes the history that has passed through its doors.

    With stacked shelves that play into the organized chaos of the store, this place is definitely worth the trip just for the nostalgic experience alone.

    RELATEDTucson Thrift Shop has a unique spin on thrifting

    At the previous location of The Book Stop, the store happened to sit adjacent to an ice cream shop. This resulted in both businesses sharing a mutually beneficial relationship of shared customers—eating ice cream and shopping for books went surprisingly well together.

    The dream team of novels and waffle cones lives on as The Book Stop recently found out that local favorite Isabella’s Ice Cream plans to open a store right next to it on Fourth Avenue.

    So next time you’re wandering down Fourth, make a quick stop at The Book Stop. Bailey and Fellow’s bookstore will be sure to spark your literary curiosity, and before you know it you’ll be cuddled up in an antique chair, lost within the pages of mid-century thriller.

    Follow Natasha Castanedo on Twitter 

    More to Discover
    Activate Search