Independent bookstores are practically endangered species, but Blue Bicycle Books continues to thrive thanks to owner Jonathan Sanchez’s curatorial skills. Sanchez took over the former Boomer’s Books in 2007, filling the cozy interior with a children’s room, a collection of military history tomes, and perhaps the world’s most comprehensive collection of books written in or about Charleston. Today, the shop also plays host to a summer writing camp for kids, as well as YALLFest, an annual festival that attracts the country’s top YA authors.
"Used, Rare, and Local" Books in a Cozy Shop
Blue Bicycle has been around for over twenty years at this point; it was a pioneer on Upper King when plenty of people were still nervous about going anywhere north of Calhoun. The store houses a large collection with books of every genre, whether that’s military history or cookbooks or first-edition modernist novels. It’s a great place to buy gifts and an even better place to get lost in the stacks. Blue Bicycle is more than a bookstore, though; in addition to hosting readings and literary events of all kinds, the store runs a summer camp and partners up with a local school to bring poetry into the classroom. It’s one of the main touchstones of literary life in Charleston.