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Quail Ridge Books, Raleigh, NC

Share Your Story: My Favorite Indie Bookstore

By jmfd

Bookstore Name

Quail Ridge Books and Music

City & State

Raleigh, North Carolina

Set the scene

Set in a small strip mall in West Raleigh, NC, Quail Ridge Books continues to prove that people still seek the best books. Stop here and meet locals shopping for bicycles, wine, groceries at a Whole Foods store, NC State University paraphernalia, beverages at a local bar, and food at a large chain restaurant. There is even a place to buy gas and have your car serviced. Just across the street is Meredith, a premier school for young women and NC State is a few blocks away.

Tell us all about it

Large, inviting picture windows on the front are filled with posters outlining some of the many events that are always pending. Check out the bargain table on the sidewalk before you come inside. Once inside you’ll see a portrait of Nancy Olson, half of the ownership team. She and her husband Jim have catered to the needs of bibliophiles for twenty-five years now. An extensive collection of North Carolina authors (Margaret Maron, Kathy Reichs, Lee Smith, e.g.) greets the browser. Close by is one of the best music collections in the area.

This is not some dusty warren of a book store. Rather, it is bright and airy in attitude and space, a place to come home to. You can browse to your heart’s uninterrupted content, or the friendly staff will help you discover something you are sure to like. Come back a couple of times and the staff will know your name and remember what you like to read. If you remember only part of a book title or the sketchiest description of a book, they will know the answer.

An extensive children’s section fills one corner of the store and has knowledgeable staff who can help children and their parents. Books are placed at the right height for the kids, and the carpet is soft and comfortable, an invitation to sit down and read a spell. There are special readings and story-telling sessions for even the youngest children.

Located in the heart of North Carolina, Quail Ridge specializes in North Carolina authors and frequently features them in readings, birthday parties, and musical soirees. There is wine and cheese and birthday cake for authors. Book clubs are encouraged and supported, and a variety of “Quail Mail” newsletters keep the community updated on what’s happening and what’s worth reading.

Tips and Tricks

  • Founded in 1984, Quail Ridge is the leading independent book store in the Research Triangle Park region of central North Carolina.
  • Almost every night, plus weekeend afternoons, features an author, ranging from 1st time to internationally acclaimed writers.
  • Pick the right night and you might be part of a wine and cheese birthday party for a local author.
  • As Sarah Vowell said recently, Quail Ridge is a store "run by people who have heard of the books they sell."
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