There’s Something Extraordinary About This One Alabama Bookstore

If you’re the ultimate book lover, you’ll most definitely want to visit The Alabama Booksmith. This one-of-a-kind bookstore, which is located in the Homewood area of Birmingham, is unlike any other you’ve ever set foot in. Guaranteed!

So, what exactly is it that makes The Alabama Booksmith extraordinary? Well, the answer is quite simple. All of the books sold at The Alabama Booksmith are signed copies. Pretty neat concept, huh?

In 1990, Jake Reiss opened The Highland Booksmith on the first floor of an old apartment building. In the beginning, he only sold used books. A couple of years later, Jake began carrying new books. Due to major problems, including traffic congestion, not enough parking, a lack of book storage and not enough room for authors or large events, The Highland Booksmith had to move to a bigger and better building. In 1999, the perfect building was discovered. Sure, it needed to be renovated, but it was the perfect foundation for the perfect bookstore. After 90 days, the renovation was finished. Following the renovation, several volunteers helped transport 100,000 books to the bookstore’s new location. What was once known as The Highland Booksmith is now The Alabama Booksmith.

The Alabama Booksmith arranges their books in a special way, which is another reason why this bookstore is truly unique. Most bookstores arrange their books with only the spine showing. The Alabama Booksmith arranges their books with the entire front cover showing. The books are also arranged by the authors’ last names instead of the subject or genre.

In the beginning, Jake sold a variety of used, new and signed books. Because his signed books were selling much faster than the rest of his inventory, he decided to only sell signed books. Many of these books are first editions, and most are hardcover.

It’s important to emphasize that not every book offered to The Alabama Booksmith is accepted. As a matter of fact, about 90% of the publishers’ offers are rejected. The Alabama Booksmith reads every book they’re offered, and they’re very selective when it comes to building their inventory.

One of the best things about The Alabama Booksmith is that they don’t charge anything extra for the author’s signature, unless of course it’s a rare or out-of-print book. As you make your book purchase, you’ll only be charged the publisher’s regular retail price.

So, what do you think? Have you ever visited this extraordinary bookstore? If not, does it sound like a place you’d want to check out?

The Alabama Booksmith currently has these signed copies in stock. Purchases can be made in person or online.


The Alabama Booksmith
2626 19th Place S
Birmingham, AL 35209

Monday – Saturday
10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. (CST)