The Best Locally-Owned Bookstores in Lincoln

Did you know that reading dates back 6,000 years?

Today, there are dozens of genres.

Whether you enjoy mysteries, science fiction, or historical romance, you'll find these choices and more at these locally-owned bookstores near our downtown Lincoln apartments:


Since 1991, A Novel Idea has offered everything from the latest bestsellers to out-of-print titles. Visitors are greeted by two friendly cats named Padric and Eddy. They live at the store full-time and enjoy prowling the shelves and sleeping in the window. The staff is knowledgeable and enjoys recommending authors.

Every Tuesday, A Novel Idea contributes three percent of its sales to a local charity. The shop hopes to raise awareness, and the organization changes with the season.


When Scott and Pat Wendt leased the corner of a vacant warehouse, Bluestem books was born. The year was 1984. They had little money and did most of the renovations themselves. The shop now calls a new location home, and the couple's granddaughters help stock the shelves. A dog named Diego joined the staff six years ago. He works in the late afternoons during the week, and all day on Saturdays. The selection features used, rare, and out-of-print books. There's something for everyone, and customers state they always find plenty of "hidden gems."


Nestled downtown, Francie and Finch is the city's newest bookstore. It features works from local authors as well as those from around the world. Owner Leslie Huerta named the shop after Francie Nolan of A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, and Scout Finch of To Kill a Mockingbird. Both characters loved to read. The shelves are full of surprises, and even the decor tells a story.

These are just a few of the locally owned businesses around our apartments near University of Nebraska, Lincoln. If you are looking for a place to call home, please contact us. We'd love to give you a tour.