104 W. Ninth St.
Going on 35 years in business, Ninth Street Book Shop offers something the big chains don’t: independence. That means owners Jack and Gemma Buckley can personally steer you toward the best fiction, and they’re happy to search for obscure or out-of-print titles.
In an age of big-box booksellers who stock everything from Scrabble to espressos, Ninth Street Book Shop owners Jack and Gemma Buckley have kept their store alive since 1977. That’s saying a lot for a 6,000-square-foot store in downtown Wilmington. The owners have always supported local authors, and continue to offer travel guides and maps, more than 9,000 children’s titles and an African-American section. The Buckleys do some nice gift wrapping, too.
“A trip to Ninth Street Book Shop is a must before every kid’s birthday and Christmas,” critic Nancy Karibjanian says. “But my favorite trip is before we head to the beach in the summer.” The independent shop doesn’t have all the frills of a big box store, like a café or a huge CD selection, but it’s far more service-oriented. Expect to pay and wait a lot less on special orders. “[Co-owner] Gemma [Buckley] never steers me wrong for my favorite beach read,” Karibjanian says.