In today’s world, ordering a book can be done in three simple clicks. Go online, add it to your cart and check out, all from the comfort of your couch. However, independent bookstores like Baton Rouge’s Cottonwood Books offer a more personalized approach to shopping.

Located less than two miles from campus, Cottonwood Books has been open for 34 years. When stepping into the store, you are greeted with the sight of endless books waiting to be read. As you walk through the store, you might find yourself picking up an unexpected title or two.

Anyone can find a book, even if they aren’t looking for one. The store sells a variety of genres ranging from fantasy to autobiographies and everything in between. What the store is most known for is its used and rare sections.

People are able to bring their own books into the store and trade for a new book. Those in the possession of rare, well-kept novels are able to sell them to the store for cash. This unique opportunity provides an endless selection of books that tell a story before they’re opened.

“It’s such a cute local bookstore,” University sophomore Emma Lane said. “They have floor to ceiling books, and they have such a variety of old and new titles. It feels like a secret book lair.”

While the store is close to campus, it rarely sees student shoppers. However, choosing to shop at Cottonwood offers more than just a stress free shopping process. It’s a unique experience that benefits the local economy.

The bookstore allows people the opportunity to put their money back into the Baton Rouge community. By shopping at the independent book store rather than an online powerhouse company, they are supporting their neighbors.

“Shopping local lets you get to know your fellow businesses and neighbors.” Cottonwood Books owner Danny Plaisance said. “Plus, the money stays in the window of the community.”

The store is known for its annual birthday bash in October where all inventory is 25% off, but offers sales throughout the year.

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