Independent bookstores in our fair city are about as endangered as our minor-league sports franchises. Fortunately, Antigone Books has sunk tenacious roots into Fourth Avenue. Antigone is as much of a community gathering place as it is a bookstore, sponsoring frequent readings by local and national authors, reading groups--including a Buddhist book group--open-mic events and writing circles. (There's even one for kids.) It's also packed with an eclectic assortment of cards and gifts; check out the action figures of such cerebral superheroes as Oscar Wilde, Albert Einstein and bibliophile Nancy Pearl. And, of course, Antigone has books. With an emphasis on women's issues, LGBT topics and local writers, Antigone offers a broad range of categories. The staff is super-helpful; don't forget to ask them about the ever-changing "celebrity door."
2. Bookmans Entertainment Exchange, 6230 E. Speedway Blvd., 748-9555; 3733 W. Ina Road, 579-0303; 1930 E. Grant Road, 325-5767; bookmans.com
3. The Book Stop, 214 N. Fourth Ave., 326-6661