Independent bookstores tend to be like books themselves—mysterious and uncharted. Austin has many book nooks that deserve to be exposed for all to see and enjoy, and since September 6th was national “Read a Book Day,” we’ve made a list of some of Austin’s best independent bookstores for you to explore.
This better-known local book store in Austin has been the leading independent bookstore in Texas since 1970 and voted the best bookstore in Austin for over 15 years. Dozens of famous and infamous authors have stopped by over the years. Even Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton have made an appearance. You’ll find almost all genres in their two-floor setup, so grab a book and a cup of coffee in their cafe, have a seat and enjoy!
In each book, there’s a hidden beauty that’s worth being put on display, and that’s what South Congress Books does best. Offering up a variety of books — ranging from first editions and vintage, to photography and original music posters — South Congress Books has a little bit of everything for everyone.
Malvern’s devotes its space to the pages of lesser known authors, pairing an emerging voice with a listening ear. You’ll find a collection of books and poetry from independent publishers curated specifically to inspire your own story.
Since 1983, this bookstore has offered a home for aspiring writers as well as grounds for literature focused on minorities, including the indigenous, Native American, Chicana-Mexicana, Latina, African American, queer, feminist, and children’s bilingual literature.
This all-volunteer-run book store is selling a transformation with their books. Behind the titles, you’ll find a collective of people pushing towards radical change. Come to this social center for books that will change your life. While you’re there, you might want to hop in on some discussion or attend one of their vast array of events.
The name alludes to exactly what you think -– a bookstore for women -– well, feminists to be more precise. This book store has a long ‘her’story, which started 39 years ago in an upstairs shop on Guadalupe. Since then, it has moved up the road four times and now sits on North Lamar where it still stands as a beloved bookstore.
You may be pleasantly surprised to find out that the Austin Public Library has its very own bookstore on Burnet Road, dedicated to recycling used books from its 20 library locations. These books come cheap, like real cheap—ranging from fifty-cents to $2.00. With that, this 7,000 square foot facility is always a good place to thumb through books and other various media!
For all you antiquers out there, this shop is for you! 12th Street Books is devoted to gathering literary first editions, fine bindings, small-press books, and books by and about Texas writers. Enter in to bask in the glory of all that’s rare and beautiful.
This is what you see when you walk in—Hulk! Is there anything better than a store that brings your favorite comics to life? You’re sure to marvel at the hundreds of comics and books and graphic novels that have been on display since 1977.
Every city needs a book store like Over the Rainbow for the little ones in our lives. Since 1975, this magical store has been using its books and toys to carry us over the rainbow to a land where dreams really do come true.