Jefferson-Madison Regional Library
Albemarle Charlottesville Historical Society
PVCC Library
UVA Libraries

Other cool book stuff:
Book Sellers
Book Dealers
Virginia Festival of the Book
Literacy Programs
Bookish Education

Virginia Festival of the Book, 145 Ednam Drive- This annual five-day festival of more than 100 seminars, readings, and panels for authors, publishers, and illustrators attracts over 22,000 visitors. Held in March. Reach Nancy Damon for more information: 924-7548.


Jefferson-Madison Regional Library- The local public library system comprises the main library downtown as well as seven additional outposts to push back ignorance. Central branch is located at 201 E. Market St. by Lee Park; Gordon Avenue just where you'd expect; Northside at Albemarle Square Shopping Center. Other branches are in outlying communities (Crozet, Scottsville, Louisa, Greene, Nelson). The new 18,000 square foot Crozet branch is currently under construction and is hoping to open its doors late this September. The new building will include a community meeting room, a tourism center, and new computers. Descendant of the Albemarle Library Society founded in 1823 by Thomas Jefferson and others, today the JMRL maintains an impressive inventory not only of books, but also of videos and books on tape as well as a thorough roster of reading programs for kids and adults.  979-7151

Albemarle Charlottesville Historical Society- The small spot (in a swanky building) for local history and genealogy. You're asked to sign in. 200 Second St. NE (downtown by Lee Park). 296-1492

PVCC Library- The Jessup Library serves the local community college located on Route 20 South near the I-64 interchange. 961-5308

University of Virginia Libraries- Any Virginia resident and other folks at least 16 years of age can borrow books and other materials from UVA's libraries for up to 30 days. UVA's online catalogue is called Virgo, and it's pretty sweet. 

  • Alderman- The stately brick library at the corner of University  Avenue and McCormick Road houses most of the humanities collection. 924-3021
  • Business- The Camp Library at the Darden School is home to the business collections of the university and is located in the Darden complex off Massie Road. 924-7321
  • Clemons- Named for the man who served as university librarian from 1927 to 1950, this multi-story brick building cattycorner to Alderman features ample study space and large multimedia collections. 924-3684
  • Education- Located across the Emmet Street pedestrian bridge from Brown College and accessible by car through McCormick Road, the Education library serves all the learning information needs of the Curry School. 924-7040
  • Fine Arts- The Fiske Kimball Fine Arts Library is named for the architect who rescued Thomas Jefferson from architectural obscurity in the early 20th century. It's located in the art/architecture complex on Carr's Hill. 924-6938
  • Law Library- The Arthur J. Morris Law Library boasts 890,000+ volumes on North Grounds. 924-3384
  • Medical Library- The Claude Moore Health Sciences Library houses UVA's medical collections. 924-5444
  • Music Library- All the melodius records (in all senses of the word) at UVA live in the Music Library on the bottom two levels of Old Cabell Hall. 924-7041
  • Science and Engineering- The Brown Science and Engineering Library (in Clark Hall) has it all: astronomy, biology, chemistry, engineering, environmental science, mathematics, physics, psychology, and statistics. 924-3628
  • Special Collections- Researchers go giddy at the thought of the Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library both below and above McCormick Road. 243-1776


Barnes & Noble, Barracks Road Shopping Center- Standard B&N fare, service, and inventory complete with Starbucks. 984-0461

Blue Whale Books, Downtown Mall- Classy glass display cases and subdued lighting entice Downtown Mall browsers. Used and rare books with a wide variety of prints and antiquarian maps. 296-4646

Daedalus Bookshop, Fourth St. NE, off the Downtown Mall- Charlottesville's own "Strand"- Biggest and oldest used bookstore in town with up to 120,000 titles in all genres. Three floors of warrens and crannies offer kitsch, treasures, and preoccupations to fill hours. 293-7595

Green Valley Book Fair, I-81 just south of Harrisonburg at exit 240- No longer an occasional event, this sprawling indoor/outdoor outlet was named "Best Bookstore on the East Coast" by Attaché magazine, and features over 500,000 new books with 60-90 percent off retail prices. Open for two-week intervals throughout the year, 9am-7pm daily. 800-385-0099

Heartwood Books, 5 Elliewood Ave., near The Corner- One of the few Antiquarian Bookstores Association of America rare book dealers. Next door to the collectors shop is a general used bookstore, which, while not strictly scholarly, leans towards the tastes of the university. 295-7083

New Dominion Bookshop, Downtown Mall- Oldest independent seller in Virginia–been here since 1924. Small but elegant, making great use of limited shelf space and attractive mezzanine complete with a small art gallery for special events. Excellent selection of local authors. 295-2552

Oakley's Gently Used Books, York Place on the Downtown Mall- Over 9,000 hand-selected used books and a few new books of local interest. Specializing in science fiction and children's books. 977-3313

Quest Bookshop, 619 W. Main St.- Charlottesville's premiere bookshop for new-age, spiritual texts, and guidebooks. Crystals, candles, and incense, too. 295-3377

Read it Again, Sam, Downtown Mall- General used books with a wall exclusively for mysteries and a huge art section make this a valuable addition to Downtown Mall used book emporia. 977-9844

Shenanigans, North Wing, Barracks Road Shopping Center- Toy store with nice selection of children's books. Not bargains, but great for mix-n-match gifts. 295-4797

Student Book Store, 1515 University Ave. on the Corner- All things Wahoo. Cards, caps, even chairs emblazoned with Cavalier logo. But some real books are mixed in with the textbooks and UVA merchandise. 293-5900

UVA Bookstore, Central Grounds Parking Garage top floor- Also heavily skewed toward good ol' UVA, but with a respectable inventory of other subjects. Good for picking up textbooks and anthologies. 924-3721 

The Book Broker, 114 Bollingwood Road- Buys and sells books, maps, and ephemera of Virginia. Also conducts appraisals. Antiquarian Booksellers Association of America member. Call for appointment. 296-2194

Clover Hill Books, P.O. Box 8372- Mail order firm specializing in 20th-century British and American literature, poetry, literary criticism, and biography about 20th-century writers. 973-1506

Franklin Gilliam Rare Books, 218 South St.- ABAA member for serious collectors. Mon-Sat Noon-6pm; calling ahead is strongly suggested. 979-2512

Buteo Books, Shipman- Family-owned bookstore with one of the largest selections of ornithology titles in the world. Friendly owners cater to beginning and expert birders, as well as serious students of ornithology both in-person and on-line. 800-722-2460 or 263-8671

Atlas Comics, 1750 Rio Hill Center- Everything comic books from Marvel and D.C. to Japanese manga and lesser known graphic novels– more than 75,000 new and back-issue comics in stock. 974-7512

Book Buddies- One-on-one volunteer program in Charlottesville and Albemarle schools to ensure all first- and second-graders learn to read. 245-2400 ask for Book Buddies Director.

Literacy Volunteers of Charlottesville/Albemarle- Provides free confidential tutoring sessions for adults in basic literacy and English as a second language. Funded by state and local government as well as individual donors and area organizations. 977-3838


University of Virginia Press, 210 Sprigg Lane- Previously the University Press of Virginia, the publishing house has opted for the new moniker to better reflect its "close relationship to its host institution." Easy to see where there might have been some confusion. 924-3361

The Hypocrite Press, Specializing in books about "the underground subculture of Downtown Charlottesville," these folks mostly publish fiction, but their anthology of film reviews from the Advocate: High Cheekbones, Pouty Lips, Tight Jeans, earned a nomination for a Library of Virginia Award for nonfiction. Info:


Meridian is a semiannual lit mag put out by UVA's MFA program, the distinguished Virginia Quarterly Review is published here, and then there's the Hook's own annual fiction contest, judged for the last several years by local best-selling author John Grisham. And VQR is the UVA literary magazine very much in the news. 

Charlottesville Writing Center, PO Box 5608, 22905- Nonprofit writing instruction at evening and weekend workshops, enrolling 250 people yearly. Summer camp for kids, tutoring, editing, manuscript review. 293-3702

Rare Book School, 114 Alderman Library, UVA- Independent nonprofit school at UVA. Offers courses in cataloging, bookbinding, illustration, etc. Publishing arm is called Book Arts Press. 924-8851

WriterHouse: Launched in the spring of 2008, WriterHouse offers aspiring writers a space to collaborate, bounce ideas, and pen the novel, short story, article or poem of your dream. The organization also offers writing workshops, hosts speakers and readings, and provides a gathering space for the local writing community to come together. 296-1922


Consistently ranked among the top five writing programs in the country, and one of only five such programs to be chosen to award an annual $10,000 Henfield Prize to one of its graduates, the UVA Creative Writing program tends to attract some great writers to town for readings and special events, most of which are open to the public. Of course, faculty members like Rita Dove, Ann Beattie, John Casey, and Christopher Tilghman also help to put us on the literary map. Email the department at to find out more about literary events.