The Student News Site of University of Arizona

The Daily Wildcat

75° Tucson, AZ

The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Where to read and listen in the Old Pueblo


    Antigone Books, 411 N. Fourth Ave. – Tucson wouldn’t be Tucson without its very own feminist bookstore. With its book groups, readings by Barbara Kingsolver and other local authors, and of course stacks of books by the likes of Judith Butler and Michelle Tea, Antigone is the model of what an indie bookstore should be. Sadly, it’s one of the last of a dying breed; most of Tucson’s other indie bookstores have been forced to close down by the likes of…

    Barnes & Noble, 7325 N. La Cholla Blvd. and 5130 E. Broadway Blvd. – The nicest thing about soulless chain bookstores with phony “”literary”” trappings (like pictures of famous authors on the walls) is that no one cares if you sit down in the cafǸ and read an entire book with no intention of buying it. But you’ll probably have to sit next to some pretentious high school kid who’s trying to convince his girlfriend to watch a Fellini movie, so it may not be worth it.

    Bookman’s Entertainment Exchange, 6230 E. Speedway Blvd., 1930 E. Grant Road and 3733 W. Ina Road: A longtime Arizona staple, Bookman’s has an ever-renewing inventory of used books, most of which go for about half their cover price. They’ve also got CDs, DVDs, video games, issues of Life magazine dating back to the 1930s and random antiques here and there for no apparent reason, so what are you waiting for?

    Book Stop, 2504 N. Campbell Ave.: It can get a little claustrophobic in here, what with the closely placed stacks of dusty old books, but the Book Stop is still the place to go if you’re looking for something you won’t find in a chain bookstore – say, a 10-volume list of every soldier who fought in the Civil War. As a bonus, it’s right next to an ice-cream store. I don’t know if you’re allowed to take ice cream into the bookstore, but I imagine you’re allowed to take books into the ice-cream store.

    Borders, 5870 E. Broadway Blvd. and 4235 N. Oracle Road: You knew this had to be here. With its emphasis on recent bestsellers, Borders is basically the same store as Barnes & Noble, except that its atmosphere is closer to a messy warehouse than a Starbucks. Still, it’s hard to resist all those cheap art books stacked near the entrance.


    CD City, 2890 N. Campbell Ave.: Not as flashy as some of Tucson’s other music stores, CD City makes up for it with the sheer volume of its inventory. You could spend days poring through their enormous “”two for $5″” and “”two for $10″” section – and probably walk out near broke. Don’t say we didn’t warn you.

    PDQ Records & Tapes, 2342 N. Dodge Blvd.: Hipsters everywhere were concerned when the owner of Tucson’s world-renowned No. 1 record store decided to retire, but it’s still in business under new owner Judy Swanson. She’s swept the dust out of the corners but kept the store’s legendary selection of used vinyl. If you’re a music fan, you owe it to yourself to pay a visit: They’ve got more Rolling Stones albums than the Stones actually released.

    Toxic Ranch, 424 E. Sixth St.: With its small but high-quality selection of indie and punk records, Sid Vicious T-shirts, Noam Chomsky videos and anti-Bush buttons, Toxic Ranch is every Tucson punk’s favorite store. This place deserves your business, so check it out.

    Zia Record Exchange, 3655 N. Oracle Road, 3370 E. Speedway Blvd. and 7940 E. Speedway Blvd.: Zia used to be one of Arizona’s most cherished indie record stores. Sadly, the chain’s passed into the hands of a group of Scottsdale investors who have made some questionable changes, like ditching the idiosyncratic, obscure records in favor of recent bestselling stuff. Still, the friendly staff and relatively low prices make it a must visit.

    More to Discover
    Activate Search