cicada books coffee

Nestled in the up-and-coming West End, Cicada Books is Huntington’s independent bookstore aspiring to make positive change in the city and offer a “third space” for those seeking community.

As a new addition to Huntington, having only been in operation for less than five years, Cicada Books is already a beloved spot for many locals. Cicada Books is known for its unique programming, discounted books, inclusive space, coffee, and bagels! The bookstore offers three book clubs and a writing group and frequently hosts free events open to all.

“One of the things we talked about when we opened Cicada Books was this idea of a Third Space,” co-owner and manager Katie Norman said. “That is a community space that is not your home and not work where you can hang out.”

Norman said the mission of her independent bookstore is not only to sell books to Huntingtonians at an affordable price, new books are always 10% off market price, but to facilitate a sense of community by creating a positive environment for anyone to spend time, study, and meet people for free outside of their home and workplace. 

This week, the store is hosting local author Joey Johnson as he signs and discusses his newest book, From Mountains to Deserts: A Weekender’s War, which recalls his experience as a “Good Ole’ Guy from the backwoods in West Virginia” being deployed to serve in the Iraq War. 

The bookstore has three book clubs that meet regularly. Tasty Reads, the food-themed book club, reads fiction, nonfiction, and memoirs written by chefs. Currently, the group is reading Dial A for Aunties by Jesse Q. Sutanto. Based-On-A-Book Club and Shelf Improvement also meet in the store, reading stories that are being adapted into television series or movies and self-help books. 

Norman said Based-On-A-Book Club would soon be reading Shakespeare’s Macbeth and that Shelf Improvement is reading All About Love by bell hooks. 

Next Saturday, April 29, Cicada Books will celebrate Independent Bookstore Day with giveaways, custom tie-dye shirts at a reduced price, and an additional 10% off new books. 

“We are so community involved, and that is something I am passionate about,” said Dawn Nolan, marketing coordinator for Cicada Books. “I love that we are a local business supporting other local businesses. Cicada books has a huge piece of my heart.”

Nolan said the store often collaborates with other small businesses around town and appreciates their and the community’s support. As an intentionally inclusive space, the store welcomes all, and the staff feels the energy they try to emit has been reciprocated.

Last year, Cicada Books hosted a Pride event at the Old Central City gazebo that was remarkably successful and plans to have another on June 23. 

“We had bands, we had beer, and we had vendors. We had a decent crowd, so we will be doing that again this year,” Nolan said. 

According to Nolan, the bookstore’s Pride event was the first Pride event that had happened in the West End since the 1970s. “We are really excited to have another one this year,” they said.

Cicada Books enjoys collaborating with and supporting local artists, authors, and creatives and sells regional art in-store. The coffee sold in the café is purchased from Huntington and Glouster, Ohio roasters.

“I definitely think that [hosting events, supporting local artists, and being a third space] has been the fun part and the part we all feel the strongest about,” Nolan said regarding her favorite part about working at Cicada Books. 

Cicada Books is located at 604 14th St in West Huntington, across from the Sloane Square Gallery. Information regarding upcoming events, club meetings, and the café menu can be found at or on their social media pages.

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