On a recent trip to Austin, TX I had a chance to stop at BookPeople. For anyone who likes making pilgrimages to independent bookstores, BookPeople has to be high on the list.
BookPeople has been the leading independent bookstore in Texas since 1970. Located in the heart of downtown, BookPeople has been voted best bookstore in Austin for over 15 years. BookPeople was voted Bookstore of the Year by Publisher’s Weekly in 2005. With visits from some of the most interesting and important authors of the past 50 years, as well as by Former Presidents Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton, BookPeople is the destination bookstore in Texas.
Every independent bookstore, like a local wine merchant or grocery store, is a reflection of it’s patrons. The selections are carefully curated to both satisfy and challenge the customers. BookPeople is excellent at that.
Unquestionably, BookPeople’s shelves are full of books that appeal to just the stereotypical Austinite you’re picturing. It’s doubtful they would stay in business were it otherwise and, I assume, it largely matches the tastes of the owners and staff. But like any great indy bookstore, that isn’t all that’s available.
In fact, I found plenty at BookPeople to satisfy my tastes too, which are probably more liberal than a lot of my family and friends might suspect, but a decidedly conservative for mainstream Austin. If you’ve read this blog at all, you also know my tastes are, shall we say…varied.
I adore a well illustrated and will written children’s book and found plenty at BookPeople to satisfy.
Similarly, the History and Texana sections were well stocked and diverse. I left with an arm load of books and could have taken many more with me.
After a period of shopping, clearly we needed coffee…
BookPeople is everything an independent bookstore should be, right down to its quirky charm. Blind date with a book, anyone?
Yes, I frequent that big bookstore in the cloud so often that the dog doesn’t even bark when the delivery guy comes to the door anymore. Still, I fervently believe in the importance of independent bookstores. BookPeople in Austin, TX is everything an indy bookstore should be. If you’re ever nearby, or even if you aren’t, you must make a trip. It’s totally worth your time.
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