Local Independent Bookstores in the Des Moines Area

Sharing is caring!

Local Independent Bookstores in the Des Moines Area

There is nothing better than browsing new books! Whether you’re looking for a just-released novel, an antique book, or searching for a gift. Book lovers rejoice! The Des Moines area has plenty of bookstores to choose from. If you are looking for a unique gift, look no further than the independent neighborhood bookstore. Supporting small businesses is so important. Many offer much more than books. You can find bookmarks, small gifts, toys, puzzles, gift certificates, and more. A perfect option for the book people in your life. Take a look at these local independent bookstores in the Des Moines area. 

Take a look at some of these other popular round-up posts: 

Children’s area in Reading in Public Bookstore

Beaverdale Books 

Address:  2629 Beaver Ave # S1, Des Moines, IA 50310


  • Monday-Friday 10:00 AM – 8:00 PM
  • Saturday 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM
  • Sunday 12:00 PM – 4:00 PM

Nestled along the main street of Beaverdale is Beaverdale Books, where you’ll find something for you, your kids, and everyone else. They have a dedicated “Iowa Authors” section so you can support the local authors of our great state. Many authors come to visit to participate in author readings and book signings and speak at the store. They have several book clubs available too. 

The Book Shoppe

Address: 817 Story St, Boone, IA 50036


  • Tuesday-Wednesday 10:00 AM-5:00 PM
  • Thursday 12:00 PM-6:00 PM
  • Friday-Saturday 10:00 AM-5:00 PM

The Book Shoppe has been a Boone staple since 2008. They have a large collection of new and used books. Bring your own used books and get store credit to find the next read. (Check out their Trade Policy for more information.)  Aside from books, they have puzzles, paint-by-number kits, greeting cards, and Melissa & Doug learning activities. Check out their calendar for all their events. 

Brick Road Books

Address: 105 W Court Ave, Winterset, IA 50273

Hours: Friday 12:00 PM-5:00 PM and Saturday 9:00 AM-2:00 PM (hours vary so check Facebook for more information) 

Next time you make a trip to Winterset stop by Brick Road Books. As you walk up to the building, you’ll see a creative display of books in the window and a cozy reading nook. Brick Road Books has children’s books, adult fiction/nonfiction, crafts, and puzzles. At the back of the store, you’ll find a reading room with big comfy chairs and a free selection of children’s books that have been donated so that every child can have a book to bring home. 

Dog-Eared Books

Address: 203 Main St, Ames, IA 50010


  • Monday-Thursday 9:00 AM-7:00 PM
  • Friday-Saturday 9:00 AM-8:00 PM
  • Sunday 10:00 AM-6:00 PM

Dog-Eared Books is a picture of bookstore beauty. The cozy feel, welcoming environment, and all things dogs, are bound to give the feeling of peace and joy.  They have a curated collection of books such as the local author’s section, midwest travel section, and previously loved section. Buy a book and a coffee and find a cozy spot in their loft. They have story hour every Wednesday at 10:00 AM. Other events include a writer’s lab and trivia nights.  Check their calendar for other upcoming events. 

The Little Book

Address: 520 Euclid Ave, Suite 102 in Des Moines, IA

Hours: Monday – Closed; Tuesday – Friday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Saturday & Sunday 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The Little Book is a newer independent bookstore in the Des Moines area! They are located in one of our favorite neighborhoods, Highland Park. They focus on children’s books on literacy, community wellness, and inclusion. They also have some adult books. They offer storytimes and other pop-up events.

Pageturners Bookstore

Address: 101 E Salem Ave, Indianola, IA 50125


  • Monday-Friday 10:00 AM-5:00 PM
  • Saturday 10:00 AM-2:00 PM

Just a short drive from Des Moines is Pageturners Bookstore, located in Indianola. The adult area has a variety of genres and a unique collection of antique books. Their large children’s room has a variety of books for babies to adolescents. With used books for as little as .59, there is something for everyone’s budget. They have greeting cards, puzzles, games, and coloring books too. The Pageturners Book Club meets the first Thursday of the month at 1:00 p.m. 

Plain Talk Books and Coffee

Address: 602 E Grand Ave, Des Moines, IA 50309

Hours: Open Daily 7:00 AM-4:00 PM

Located in the East Village of Downtown Des Moines is Plain Talk Books and Coffee. They have used books from all genres including children’s, nonfiction, fiction, “Banned” books, and more. Buy a treat and enjoy a book on the comfy couches or enjoy a meal in the diner that is attached to the store. Enjoy Bauder homemade ice cream or old-fashioned soda fountain drinks. They have a wide variety of food including vegan options. 

Raccoon River Press

Address: They do not have a physical address, but do a ton of pop-up shop events around the Des Moines metro. 

Raccoon River Press is 100% woman-owned and operated. Even though they may not have a physical, permanent location, local bookworms always mention this amazing small business. Keep an eye on their pop-up events and books they have available here

Storyhouse Bookpub

Address: 505 E Grand Ave Suite 102, Des Moines, IA 50309


  • Monday-Thursday 10:00 AM-6:00 PM
  • Friday 10:00 AM-7:00 PM
  • Saturday 10:00 AM-6:00 PM
  • Sunday 10:00 AM-4:00 PM

Another bookstore located in Des Moines’ East Village in Downtown Des Moines is the Storyhouse Bookpub. Your little ones will run to the cozy space in the children’s area with colorful and inviting picture books, graphic novels, and perfect tiny child-sized chairs. Make sure you look for your own book to bring home too. The helpful store clerks offer recommendations for all genres and offer a vast selection of books. They have an Iowa author’s section too and offer a unique trade option! Of course, there is a book club you can join and they offer many events such as an author meet, storytimes for kids, and author events throughout the year. Follow on social media to stay up to date with all the fun. 

Reading in Public Bookstore + Cafe 

Address: 315 5th St Suite 100, West Des Moines, IA 50265


  • Tuesday-Wednesday 9:00 AM-7:00 PM
  • Thursday-Friday 9:00 AM-8:00 PM
  • Saturday 9:00 AM-7:00 PM
  • Sunday 10:00 AM-4:00 PM

Located in Historic Valley Junction, Reading in Public Bookstore + Cafe is a bookstore that celebrates reading. The layout of the store makes it easy to find what you are looking for. The children’s section is in the back and creates room for kids to browse and read. They also sell delicious coffee drinks and a selection of baked goods. Grab a cup of coffee and read the latest novel. Join one of their book clubs.

Wandering Raccoon Books

Address: 250 W 1st St, Grimes, IA 50111

Hours: Monday-Saturday 10:00 AM-6:00 PM

After years of doing successful “pop-up” shops and running an online store, Raccoon River Press, is opening its first brick-and-mortar store this July called Wandering Raccoon Books. The independent, woman-owned bookstore will be the first of its kind in the growing Grimes area. Make this a stop to find your summer reading with all the latest releases. Follow on Facebook for updates. 

Take a road trip …

While we love Des Moines, there are some other amazing bookstores not far from here. 

Jackie Fioritto

Jackie Fioritto

Hi, I’m Jackie. I am a teacher who recently became a stay-at-home mother of two. My husband and I moved to Des Moines from Green Bay, Wisconsin a few years ago. Originally, I am from Chicago, Illinois. My family has loved exploring Des Moines and all that it has to offer!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *