airport bookstores

National Book Lovers Day

Nashville once had a supermarket library branch

Book lovers everywhere celebrate National Book Lovers Day on August 9.

Traveling and books go together. And one element of travel we’re missing is the pleasure of buying a book at the airport and reading it cover to cover on a long flight.

Although some may be closed temporarily due to health concerns, there are full-fledged bookstores we seek out at airports.

Sometimes we make sure to arrive early or book long layovers to make sure we have time to browse.

We’re fond of the great reads discovered in San Francisco International Airport at Compass Books and at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport at the still-new branch of the Elliot Bay Book Company.

And we hoping for a return visit to Renaissance Books at Milwaukee’s Mitchell International Airport (MKE), among others.

But, sadly, some airport bookstores may not reopen after the pandemic.

Already Powell’s Books is permanently shuttering both its kiosk and bookstore at Portland International Airport (PDX) after a 30-year run.

But we’re confident travelers will still be able to find something great to read in airport bookshops for flights in the future.

So, to mark National Book Lovers Day today, we’re imagining a visit to Nashville International Airport (BNA) in the days when it was home to both a library and a reading room.

Do you have a favorite airport bookstore or book swap? Tell us about it in the comments section below.

A rare and much-loved amenity at Raleigh=Durham International Airport is closing this week after serving passengers for almost 34 years.

2nd ed. Booksellers – a used bookstore located post-security at RDU – is closing it doors on December 31 after 33 and half years at the airport.

“It is quite sad to see it go, but it is time to retire as I have arthritis issues that strongly recommend that I stop lifting and toting boxes of books,” owner Walter High, who operates the store with his wife Karen, wrote on the store’s Facebook page. “We will miss our faithful customers and RDU will lose one of its most unique aspects. A used bookstore behind security at the airport doesn’t happen anywhere else in the US that we know of.Thank you all for your support over the years!”

RDU’s used bookshop was a favorite with travelers and a rarity at an airport. Two other airports have bookstores (that I know of) that also sell used books: Renaissance Book Shop at Milwaukee’s General Mitchell International Airport and a branch of Powell’s Books (selling new and used books) at Portland International Airport.” But these are pre-security.

Travel Tidbits: sculpture at JFK; bookstore at DEN

This new sculpture, called “Outside Time,” by Dimitar Lukanov, was recently installed in the Departure Hall of Terminal 4 at JFK International Airport in New York.


Part of a three-part project, this 4600-pound steel and aluminum sculpture is 15 feet tall and 11 feet wide and is “a veritable drawing in space, a breathless, effortless, instantaneous gesture in the air [that] aspires to halt, even momentarily, the relentlessness of time,” said Lukanov.


Meanwhile, while we’re sad to learn that Powell’s City of Books will close two of the three branches it has a Portland International Airport, over at Denver International Airport, the second of four planned branches of The Tattered Cover, the iconic line of Colorado bookstores, has opened in the center of the A Concourse.

The other two Tattered Cover branches at DEN will open later this year.

Tattered Cover opens at Denver Int’l Airport

Great news for book lovers whose travels take them through Denver International Airport:

The first of four planned branches of the iconic, independent Denver bookstore, Tattered Cover, opened this week on Concourse B.


The three other branches will open in the other concourses, and in the Jeppesen Terminal, in the first half of 2014.

Here’s a list of some author-events scheduled to take place in the store this coming week:

Saturday, Dec. 7: 9:30-10 a.m. Graeme Simsion, “The Rosie Project”

Sunday, Dec. 8: 10:30 a.m.Signed copies of Pulitzer Prize-winning historical author Doris Kearns Goodwin’s book, “The Bully Pulpit: Theodore Roosevelt, William Howard Taft, and the Golden Age of Journalism,” will be available for sale.

Dec. 11, Approximately 2:30-3 p.m. Amy Tan, the bestselling author of “The Joy Luck Club,” will sign her new novel, “The Valley of Amazement.”