Revolver Records: 918 N. 2nd St., 602-795-4980,

Tracks in Wax: 4741 N. Central Ave., 602-274-2660,

Stinkweeds: 12 W. Camelback Rd., 602-248-9461,


Screw the Kindles and iPads of the world. As fancy as such devices might seem, downloading The Hunger Games or American Sniper can't replicate the simple joy of an afternoon spent in a cozy bookstore. Like, say, the quaint Lawn Gnome Books, run by word nerds Aaron Johnson and Ernesto Moncada. The colorful shelves of the two-room bungalow sport paint that's barely dry, as it only opened last month, but are overloaded with used copies of popular potboilers and tearjerkers, as well as fanzines and works by local scribes like Logan Mosier. Titles tend to fly off the shelves on First Friday, so come early (or check out the modest selection of artsy and edgy paperbacks across the street at MADE.) The floorspace is a bit larger at the homey Bards Books, as is the selection. Thousands of tomes are arranged from floor to ceiling along a maze-like series of aisles, with substantial sections devoted to art, architecture, and cooking. Just don't think about shoplifting, as the register is guarded by an "attack goldfish" named Bardot. — Benjamin Leatherman

Lawn Gnome Books: 901 N. 5th St., 602-721-9175,

Bards Books: 3508 N. 7th St., 602-274-7530,

MADE: 922 N. 5th St., 602-256-6233,

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