No series about my favorite places in Austin would be complete without my favorite places to find books. I love Austin and its culture for supporting creatives – especially indie authors. I spend a lot of time at bookstores because I’m trying to read #allthebooks.
My Favorite Bookstores in Austin, Texas
1. Half-Price Books
HPB is one of my favorite bookstores – ever. It is a small chain – there are some in the DFW area, too. Books are typically used (you can sell your books) and they’re at least half-off, if not more. Back in March, they had a week-long sale – by Sunday, you could use a coupon to get 50% off one item. I snagged a hardback that was published in October for $7. The jacket sticker is $28.
HPB also has some old books that aren’t in print anymore and they have a decent selection of movies and TV shows, too.
2. Recycled Reads
This one is my nana’s favorite store. It’s a tiny little place across the street from my old house. Run by the Austin Public Library system, this place is full of books that have been retired from the library or were donated. Hardbacks are $2 and paperbacks are $1. The picture at the top of the blog post is actually from Recycled Reads. The only downside to Recycled Reads is that the store is small and there is no rhyme or reason to the book selection. So if you’re looking for something specific – this wouldn’t be the place to go.
3. Amazon Books
I debated putting this one on the list, because Amazon isn’t really a local company. But the idea of an Amazon brick-and-mortar store is interesting. It kind of defies logic, but if there’s one place where an online company can open a brick-and-mortar store and have it make sense, it’s Austin (keep Austin weird).
The Amazon Bookstore packs a lot into a little place. Not only are there a lot of books, but Amazon features some cool technology too. Obviously, they have Alexa there, but they have some other stuff, too.
I did appreciate the section just of books about Texas.
4. Book People
Book People is like, the essential Austin bookstore. Located in downtown Austin, it’s in the same area as the original Whole Foods. While I typically find Book People to be a little pricey for my poor wallet, I do love that they support indie authors. They also have some funny book-lovers gifts, like notebooks and pens.
Honorable Mention: Barnes & Noble
Now Barnes & Noble is definitely not a local bookstore, but I add it to this list for a few reasons. When I moved to Austin, I was familiar with the town, but not to the level where I could drive myself (I was always a passenger when here with my family). When I moved to Austin two years ago, Barnes & Noble was the only place I knew how to get to on my own (besides my job).
Obviously, as a bookworm, I’m always looking for more stores. There are dozens of tiny bookstores I haven’t been to yet, but that’s the great thing about Austin – there’s always something new and weird to find.