It’s beach read season, even if you can’t actually get to the beach. When it’s too hot to go outside, and you’ve already binged the entire latest seasons of “Stranger Things” and “The Bear,” diving into a great book is a great way to pass a lazy Sunday.

Luckily, we have a wealth of local, independent bookstores across the city that can give you top recommendations specific to your likes, whether you’re into mystery, fantasy, drama, romance or history. And if you can’t find the exact title you are looking for, all will be happy to place an order for you. So skip Amazon, and dig into these local culture treasure troves.

The Community Book Center, located on the historic Bayou Road in the Seventh Ward is “more than a bookstore.” The oldest Black-owned bookstore in the city, CBC has not only books that will challenge and inspire the mind, but art, gifts and more.

Blue Cypress Books on Oak Street is woman-owned, has a wide selection of both new and used books, and hosts community events, readings, author signings and more. Follow the store’s Instagram for updates on what’s hot on the shelves and who’s stopping by next.

Tubby & Coo’s in Mid City touts itself as “a local, Queer-owned, progressive, nerdy, independent book shop.” Specializing in sci-fi, fantasy, horror, diverse books and much more, Tubby & Coo’s offers a great selection of alternative titles that ship directly to you or are available for pickup locally.

Two stand-by meccas for all things books, Octavia Books and Garden District Book Shop provide one-stop shopping for the latest titles, plus author appearances, books signings, reading clubs and discussions, and so much more. If you’re not sure what you’re looking for, pop in for a chat and they can help guide you to the right reading fit for you, the best gift or your next series obsession.

If graphic novels are your thing, Crescent City Comics has one of the largest collections in the area. Located on Calhoun Street, Crescent City Comics has new and vintage comics, graphic novels, books, gaming supplies, collectibles and more for readers and fans of all ages.

Back to school

With back to school right around the corner, many students are quickly finishing up their own summer reading assignments, getting uniforms in order and picking out new backpacks and lunch boxes. For some great picks, check out the most recent “Shop Talk” with the rundown on some of the best supplies around town.

Additionally, the Crescent City Mentoring Collaborative, comprised of Son of a Saint, 100 Black Men of Metro New Orleans, Reaching for the Stars, and the Silverback Society, will host a Back to School Fair for New Orleans-area students on Saturday, August 6 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at McDonogh 35 Senior High School, 4000 Cadillac Street. The event will provide information, health screenings, school supplies. Educational resources, plus food and refreshments.

Pro-tip: back to school is super stressful for parents and kids, but also for teachers returning to classrooms. Welcome your child’s teacher with a cup of joe from your favorite coffee shop. Gift cards will allow them to pick what they like, whether it’s a latte, cappuccino or tea. Some of our favorites include: PJ’s Coffee, French Truck, Coffee Science, Backatown Coffee Parlour and The Station.

Blanket Statement

Local Instagram @LookAtThisFuckinStreet, which documents the potholes, craters and sinkholes of the city, have teamed up with New Orleans blanket company @WeMightBeOnFire for the perfect summer reading blanket (and more) to cozy up with, while poking fun at our fair city. Get comfy or create the ultimate blanket fort.