Where to get your book fix around CoMo

From little libraries to local shops, here's your guide to discovering literary treasures around downtown Columbia.

Little Free Libraries:

Ninth Street, parklet outside Bubblecup

This little library is sponsored by “The Missouri Review,” so it has several copies of that. There are also, strangely, volumes one and two of “The Alpaca Registry Journal.”

The parklet it sits in is not permanent, so check out the little library while the weather is still good.

Alley A, outside of Gidget’s Garage

This chicken coop-shaped little library sits outside Gidget’s Garage. Inside, you’ll find several books and a couple VHS tapes, along with a sign encouraging library users to get a cheap book at Yellow Dog Bookshop around the corner to leave behind.

“It draws people toward the store,” owner Kim Baer said. “There are days the library gets more attention than the store.”

511 Hickman Ave

This one is north of downtown in someone’s front yard. It’s a little tough to spot, since there are tall sunflowers growing wildly all over the lawn. Inside the little library, you can find a large variety of books, from a copy of “Steve Jobs” to books by C.S. Lewis and John Milton.

Adams Walls of Books

If you want to make it to Adams Walls of Books, you have to plan carefully: The place is only open for three hours per week.

From 1-4 p.m. on Saturdays, you can wander through the towering stacks — the word “walls” definitely fits in the store’s name — and let yourself get lost in some good books. It may take a while to sort through some of the piles, but you’ll find something great.

“I once found a first edition of ‘To Kill a Mockingbird,’” owner and sole employee Nancy Duncan said. “You don’t know what you’ll find, and that’s part of the fun. “

Looking at the stacks on the shelves and the tall piles that build up all around the store, it looks like Duncan will never run out of books. She keeps adding to her stock, too.

“I go to book sales and auctions, and anywhere there’s a good book, I go,” Duncan said. “I love the buying part. It’s like a treasure hunt.”

The store averages about 20 people every time it's open, Duncan said. People come in to wander through the store and see what they can find.

Adams Walls of Books, located at 214 N. Eighth Street, only accepts cash or check.

Yellow Dog Bookshop

A window filled with books draws people toward the pale green storefront of Yellow Dog Bookshop. Outside, you can rifle through a cart of 92-cent books and inside, you can search through the stacks for your favorite things. But who is the dog in the drawn sign hanging by the store?

“We wanted to put a personal name on it, but not ours,” owner Joe Chevalier said. “We saw our dog Scout curled up in the corner and thought, ‘Hey, she’d make a good mascot.’”

Most of the books in Yellow Dog are used, with the exception of a shelf of magazines and literary journals near the front door, and some new books on display closer to the counter. Two of the magazines, “The Riveter” and “New Territory,” are by MU graduates.

The shop gets books from a variety of places, such as book sales or regulars who keep coming back with their old reads.

“A lot of people bring books to sell or trade,” Chevalier said. “A lot of people are happy with the trade value if they’re adding to their personal collections.”

Yellow Dog has been around since 2013, when Chevalier and his wife bought Get Lost! Books to keep it from closing completely. They contacted the previous owner, and within 30 days, had reopened as Yellow Dog Bookshop.

“My wife and I met while working in a new bookstore in California,” Chevalier said. “We always thought, ‘Oh, if we had our own place, we’d do pretty well at it.’”

It’s always nice to get lost in a good book, and Yellow Dog can supply you with your fix of fiction, sci-fi, history, non-fiction and a whole slew of other types. Check them out at 8 S. Ninth St. from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and noon to 4 p.m. Sunday.

Edited by Katie Rosso | krosso@themaneater.com

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