2 genre-based bookstores are bringing readers to LOU

When it comes to books, LOU really knows how to turn a page.

a white bookshelf covered in romance books

Contemporary, fantasy, LGBTQ+, and more all have a home at A Novel Romance.

Photo by LOUtoday

Louisville is home to two genre-specific bookstores: Butcher Cabin Books and A Novel Romance. While they couldn’t be more different from the outside, they actually have a lot in common. Both stores make Derby City a destination for communities that, while large and thriving, exist primarily online. They even have readers road-tripping from out of town to see a store dedicated to their favorite genre.

Butcher Cabin Books

In 2022, this “bleeding” bookstore opened at 990 Barret Ave.

“Louisville is a great supporter of spooky things. I don’t think people realize how big Halloween and horror are here,” Co-owner Jenny Kiefer said. “In terms of horror books, we
sell a wide variety. Our non-fiction section is pretty popular, along with our selection of out-of-print horror and sci-fi paperbacks.”

But horror isn’t the only genre on the shelf in LOU.

Red paint drips down the front of a white building resembling blood.

Butcher Cabin Books’ bloody-looking exterior hides a wealth of horror books.

Photo by LOUtoday

A Novel Romance

Readers looking for something a little more romantic can head to A Novel Romance, which opened last year at 11610 Main St. in Middletown. The store hosts four monthly book clubs, midnight release parties, and author events.

A Novel Romance’s owner Jonlyn Scrogham has seen visitors coming across state lines to visit the store, all while doing very little advertising. Some of the store’s most popular titles are independently published books with a cult following.

“They’re excited to see these books they’ve fallen in love with online actually on a shelf to be picked out in person,” Scrogham said.

It’s the same story at Butcher Cabin Books. Kiefer described a vibrant, international online community of independent horror publishers and readers. You don’t have to look very hard to find horror fans pining after a trip to Louisville just to visit Butcher Cabin Books, especially after Kiefer’s new book “This Wretched Valley” hit shelves in January (stop by the store to buy a signed copy).

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