Christmas shopping can be tough – except when you’re shopping for books. Then it’s pretty straightforward.

Since Calgary is already home to so many amazing small businesses, why not visit a few for your holiday shopping? These independent bookstores in Calgary have all the titles you’re looking for plus an atmosphere that will make you want to stay all day.

From floor-to-ceiling bookshelves to an adorable shop that’s spicy reads only, here are 6 independent bookstores in Calgary you can’t miss if you’re shopping for books this holiday season.

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Shelf Life Books


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This shop is conveniently located in the south of Calgary’s downtown and has an awesome selection of books, stationery, and puzzles. It’s welcoming, well-organized, and bursting with natural light – great for reading! There’s even a dedicated children’s section inside a cozy little nook which is perfect for an impromptu storytime. Oh, and it’s dog friendly too!

Stop by for a leisurely browse or order online with curbside pickup, shipping, or free delivery within a 15-minute drive.

Where: 1302 4 St SW #100
Instagram: @shelflifebooks

Pages Books

This indie bookstore in Kensington has all the vibes to keep you wandering between shelves all day. Check out the curated tables on the top floor for recommended reads or dive into the basement for second-hand gems. They have some pretty snazzy merch available too, along with free pickup and local delivery when you order online.

Where: 1135 Kensington Rd NW
Instagram: @pagesbooks

Slow Burn Books

Small but mighty! This one is for the romance readers, because this little shop in Marda Loop is exclusively a romance bookstore! They’ve got every sub-genre of romance you can think of along with a table display of trending reads full of swoon-worthy tropes and dreamy protagonists. Stop by to find your next favourite love story, and we promise you’ll be back!

Stop by with your afternoon coffee (Deville is only a block away) or order online for in-store pick up and delivery.

Where: 1934 34 Ave SW #115
Instagram: @slowburn.booksyyc

The Next Page


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Of course, we couldn’t do an indie bookstore round-up without including this iconic spot. If you love yourself a good bookshop, you are going to lose it when you see these floor-to-ceiling bookshelves. The Next Page looks like the library you always fantasized about having in your home. There’s towering bookcases, rolling ladders, and an in-store coffee shop because what could possibly be better?!

After you’re done browsing the main floor, don’t forget to head downstairs to the basement to see their selection of second-hand beauties along with a hidden theatre! If you don’t have time to visit, you can always order online for pick-up or delivery.

Where: 1217A 9th Ave SE
Instagram: @thenextpageyyc

Fair’s Fair Books

This independent bookshop has 2 locations in Inglewood and Chinook specializing in gently used second-hand reads. For the budget-conscious shopper, this is a great way to find your next story (or stories) without breaking the bank. One for them, one for you! That’s still gift shopping, right?

Where: 907 9 Ave SE & 104 61 Ave SW
Instagram: @fairsfairyyc

Owl’s Nest Books


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Did you know that Owl’s Nest is Calgary’s oldest bookstore? Located in the quaint Britannia neighbourhood, this spot has new titles, rare finds, and fun puzzles, games, and chocolates to round out your gift. No one will know if you just keep the treats for yourself.

You can also order ahead to pick up in-store or have your books delivered if you’re local.

Where: 815a 49 Ave SW
Instagram: @owlsnestbooks