Back to the Blog

Book Group City Tour: Indianapolis

We’re excited to bring back the book group city tour blog posts! Our next stop is Indianapolis, where we explore bookstores, the public library, and more.

Did you know that this capital city earned its lovable nickname “Indy” not only because “Indianapolis” is a mouthful, but also because of all the independent bookstores present in the city?

Okay, we’re totally kidding about Indy’s namesake, but we’re not kidding about it being a hub for independent bookstores. In the past two years alone, nine bookstores in Indianapolis have opened or been announced, including Loudmouth Books, which just opened to the public on September 30, 2023; Dream Palace Books & Coffee, which will open in October 2023; and The Whispering Shelf, which is slated to open later this fall.

Read on to learn why Indy should be #1 on every reader’s travel list—and check out the other cities we’ve visited here!

Indy Central Public Library
Central Public Library in Indianapolis

Central Library, as the name suggests, is at the heart of the Indianapolis Public Library system. The building retains much of the original 1917 architecture but was renovated in 2007 to incorporate a six-story glass and steel-framed addition. The result is a beautifully-lit space that blends classic and contemporary styles and offers visitors a unique experience.

In addition to the extensive collection of books available for checkout, Central Library also offers resources like the Learning Curve, a high-tech area and event space designed specifically for kids, teens, and families; the Center for Black Literature & Culture, a space dedicated to celebrating African-American heritage; and the Chris Gonzalez Collection, a curated archive of materials with an LGBTQ+ focus. 

Central Library has plenty of rooms to explore, reading nooks to discover, and events to attend (cinema series, anyone?). It’s as much an architectural marvel as it is a place for book lovers to read and relax.

The best part about the Indy Public Library system is that they support reading groups! At the library, you can join an in-person book club for adults or teens, or you can participate in an online book discussion group, which has a different theme every month. You can even DIY your own book group! If you’re in a book group already or have a group that wants to start, you can reserve a Book Club in a Bag kit from the Indy Public Library. Each kit contains 10 copies of a title with a six-week checkout period, reading guides, and discussion questions, making it the perfect companion for your next book group get-together.

Indy Central Public Library is located at 40 E St Clair St, Indianapolis, IN 46204

Kids Ink in Indianapolis

Kids Ink

Up next on our list of places to visit in Indy is Kids Ink, an iconic and independent children’s bookstore with 35 years of history. The store is adorably decorated, featuring an extensive selection of children’s and young adult literature, as well as an assortment of games, toys, and puzzles. No matter your age, stepping into Kids Ink will instantly provide you with feelings of nostalgia and childlike joy. 

Follow Kids Ink on Facebook to stay up-to-date on their frequent events, such as giveaways, author meet-and-greets, and book groups!

Kids Ink is located at 5619 N Illinois St, Indianapolis, IN 46208

Tomorrow Bookstore in Indianapolis

Tomorrow Bookstore

Tomorrow Bookstore is a must-stop when you’re in downtown Indianapolis. This store, run by married co-owners Jake and Julia Budler, is a relatively recent addition to the city’s expanding list of indie bookstores, having opened in April 2023. 

Tomorrow Bookstore boasts a wide array of books, events, and activities, so there is something for every reader to enjoy! This month, Tomorrow has embraced the spooky spirit and even rebranded itself Tomorrow Boo-store during the build-up to Halloween. 

In addition to great books and a superb sense of humor, Tomorrow offers niche book clubs with themes such as Dope Diaspora (focused on books from across the African diaspora) and The Written World (in which Tomorrow staff chooses a country and readers select any book by an author from that country). Tomorrow also has frequent author events and even the occasional midnight release party for highly anticipated new books.

Tomorrow Bookstore is located at 882 Massachusetts Ave, Indianapolis, IN 46204

Loudmouth Books

The newest addition to Indy’s indie bookstores is Loudmouth Books, a Black-, queer-, and woman-owned bookstore that celebrated its grand opening on September 30, 2023! Bestselling author and Indianapolis native Leah Johnson opened Loudmouth with the goal of highlighting banned books and uplifting the work of marginalized authors. Loudmouth strongly believes that everyone deserves to see themselves inside the pages of a book, which is why they proudly state that “banned books are our business.”

You need to plan a trip to Loudmouth to experience the beauty of banned books—and, in the meantime, follow Loudmouth on Instagram to learn about their newest events and activities!

Loudmouth Books is located at 212 E 16th St, Indianapolis, IN 46202

Dream Palace Books and Coffee

But wait, there’s more! Mark your calendars for October 21, 2023, when Dream Palace Books & Coffee will celebrate its grand opening with book readings, live music, and more. Dream Palace will sell new and used books (and, of course, coffee) with the goal of creating a “unified community around a diverse selection of books.” The space will be open and bright, making readers feel immediately at home once they arrive. 

Follow Dream Palace on Instagram to stay up-to-date on their bookish events!

Dream Palace Books & Coffee is located at 111 E 16th St, Indianapolis, IN 46202

If Indianapolis wasn’t on your reader bucket list before, we hope it is now! Check out other cities we’ve visited here.