The Best Independent Bookstores in Toulouse

Get lost into books
Get lost into books | © Chuttersnap / Unsplash | Chuttersnap for Unsplash
Jennifer Migan

Looking for a good read while you’re in Toulouse? The city stands out for the eclecticism and big amount of excellent bookstores across town. The following list will delight all the types of book lovers.

1. Ombres Blanches

Bookstore, Cinema

Get lost in books
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Ombres Blanches‘ bookstore has been a reference in Toulouse for over 40 years. Its large selection of 120,000 books available will suit any type of reader. In 2014, this bookstore earned the prestigious LiR label, which is reserved for well-established independent bookstores. In addition to that, they opened two additional bookstores on Rue Gambetta, one dedicated to cinema and one that will delight travel lovers. Besides, you certainly would be interested in visiting their bookstore specialized in foreign languages on Rue Mirepoix. Book signings and discussions with famous authors are regularly organized as well.

2. Terra Nova


Man picking up a book
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Terre Nova is much more than a bookstore; it is a place where people connect and interact through their love for books that aim for social change. The librarians are committed to find writers, directors, and artists who are outside the mainstream book industry and with different points of views. As you wander around this atypical venue, you will find an exclusive collection of French and foreign literature, works in human sciences, and books for children too.

3. Librairie l'Autre Rive


Cute boy reading a book
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The Librairie l’Autre Rive is a cozy bookstore with a very-well curated selection of novels, essays, foreign literature, and children books that will please readers from all ages. Customers praise the warm welcome and excellent tips from the staff, so don’t hesitate to ask for help if you need it. If you are traveling with your kids and they understand French, come to listen to one of the librarians reading an excerpt of some of the newest children’s books. This event occurs every first Saturday of each month, and it will be a nice moment to spend with your little ones.

4. L'Estaminot

Cafe, Tea Room, Coffee Shop, Coffee, Tea , Fast Food, Vegetarian

Grab a book while having some coffee
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If you enjoy reading, there is a high chance that you like having a warm cup of tea or coffee while you’re doing it. If that’s the case, you should definitively go to l’Estaminot, an original tea room with a bookstore whose intimate vibe will immediately make you feel at home. While you are having an afternoon snack (try the Léopard cake), grab a book about art, a vintage comics album, or even a book about psychology, and relax. If you’d like, you can also donate one of the books you finished during your trip or join one of their events or writing workshops.

5. Librairie Ami des Villes


The Librairie Ami des Villes is the right place for those who love secondhand books and love to dig in piles of books to find an interesting one. In this bookstore, you will come across a large array of topics, from philosophy textbooks to vintage magazines. If you like music, you can also purchase old vinyls or CDs.

Librairie Maldoror

This bookstore located in the touristic Rue du Thur is more suitable for those who like ancient books. Their choice is fairly limited, yet you will enjoy walking around this charming and atypical place that will give you the impression of a Tim Burton movie.

Collection of old books

Location and Phone Number:

Librairie Maldoror, 57 Rue du Taur, Toulouse, France, +33 (0) 5 61 22 63 46

6. Librairie Bédéciné


Selection of comic books
© Tunechick / Pixabay
To all the fans of comics, sci-fi, and fantastic literature, this is for you! The Librairie Bédéciné offers a wide range of cartoons, comics, mangas, and sci-fi novels and is considered by many locals as the best in town. If you are new to the genre, don’t worry, the friendly and helpful staff will take the time to advise and guide you to make sure you are fully satisfied.

7. Terre des Légendes

Bookstore, Store

If you didn’t get enough comics at the previous store, go to the city center and spend some time at Terre des Légendes, another excellent bookstore in Toulouse specializes in comics, mangas, and science-fiction. This is a great occasion to discover new authors and perhaps add albums to your collection.

8. Le Loup Bleu/Blue Wolf

Shop, Bookstore

People who like to find hidden gems in cities will surely love le Loup Bleu, located in the Saint-Aubin neighborhood near the church. You will appreciate the attention from the staff to only curate rare books and promote less renowned but excellent writers. In this wonderful shop, you will be able to buy some fantastic poetry, thrillers, or foreign novels.

9. Librairie Atmosphères


Comic books
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The Librairie Atmosphères is a pure haven for people who are fond of cartoons. Whether you are a specialist or a neophyte, you will be pleased by the choice of albums displayed throughout the store. If you need guidance, the staff, whose passion for this genre is contagious, will give you all the information you need to pick the right album.

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