Hybrid Bookstore: Books-A-Million

Best For: A wide variety

Books-A-Million, known affectionately as BAM, was founded as a street corner newsstand in Florence, Alabama. Since its humble, 1917 beginnings, the company has grown to become the premier book retailing chain in the Southeastern United States, making it the second-largest book retailer in the nation. They currently operate more than 260 stores in 32 states and the District of Columbia. The company also operates a book wholesale and distribution subsidiary, American Wholesale Book Company, as well as an e-commerce division known as BooksAMillion.com.

Anyone who has visited Books-A-Million knows the store spaces range dramatically in size—from around 4,000 square feet to 30,000sqft. The brick-and-mortar locations offer pretty much any reading material you need—books, magazine, bargain books, collectibles, and specialty genre collections. Most stores also offer a café specializing in coffee and espresso. Books-A-Million is a wonderful place to spend your afternoon.

The online e-commerce division was launched in 1998 and has thrived since inception. In addition to providing paperback and hard-cover books, the online store is also a popular eBook distributor. The website is clean and intuitive. Not sure how to find what you’re looking for? Their live chat option is just as helpful as speaking with a bookstore sales associate. They also have a popular bargain category for those looking to save a bit of cash.