Changing Hands Bookstore
6428 S. McClintock Drive
Tempe, AZ 85283
I drove from San Diego to Tempe to visit Changing Hands because I’d been invited to read there and also because people kept telling me it’s one of those bookstores that can’t be missed. Changing Hands is one of the most highly regarded indies in the country.
35 years in the bookselling business, Changing Hands is a large independent store in a strip mall that rivals the chains for size. They sell new, used, remaindered, and consignment books here. The store is spacious with friendly knowledgeable staff and a smart selection of books.
Staff is encouraged to make selections and those are placed prominently in the store. There’s also a book club wall.
At this point in the trip, I’d been on the road for about eight weeks straight. I’ve already learned a lot about what makes a bookstore work, and I feel like i’ve developed a sixth sense about them. I feel like I can walk in to a store and immedietly know if it’s working well. It’s because the best stores like Changing Hands are doing way more than selling books. For one thing, the best stores diversify their inventory. Sidelines, used books, coffee.