INDIE BOOKSTORE DAY
Fulfill your bookish dreams at these 8 independent bookstores around Austin
Who doesn’t love curling up with a good book? The smell of crisp, white pages and the feeling of staying up late at night to finish a chapter is something only true book lovers understand. Plus, taking an “innocent trip” to your local independent bookstore or public library and leaving with an armful of new books is a next-level feeling of excitement, wallet woes aside.
With Independent Bookstore Day coming up on Saturday, April 29, we’ve rounded up plenty of fun indie shops for locals and visitors to explore. And fun fact, most of these shops were founded by women. Here’s a look at eight Austin area bookstores for all of your bookish needs. Support local, y’all.
South Congress Books
Sheri Tornatore, the owner of South Congress Books, has been sharing collectible, vintage books and art for over 30 years. Book lovers will find unique photography, artwork, posters, vinyl records, and much more in addition to their carefully-curated book selection. As CultureMap reported, the shop recently moved to a new location on Kerbey Lane in Central Austin after being "priced out" of their original location on their namesake street.
Austin’s iconic feminist bookstore is celebrating 47 years of operation this year. The shop specializes in works written by female, nonbinary, and queer authors. They host virtual book talks, clubs, and meetups throughout the month. Masks are required at BookWoman, so plan accordingly (they do provide some at the door if you forget your own).
Vintage Bookstore and Wine Bar
This bookstore combines two wonderful ideas: wine drinking and reading. Just don’t spill your glass! Vintage is Austin’s first independent bookstore and wine bar, all in one place. Enjoy your favorite glass of white or red while curled up with your next read in one of their many picture-worthy reading spots. They also offer non-alcoholic beverages for those who want to have an inebriation-free experience. They’re located in the historic 1800’s Haehnel building at the corner of East 11th Street and Waller Street.
This South Austin neighborhood bookstore might be on the newer side, but it’s definitely a fantastical escape from the towering high rises downtown. Reverie focuses on the local community through school internship and giveback programs. They also spotlight marginalized voices with their book selection, featuring topics from social justice to banned books.
Black Pearl Books
What started as a primarily online store and pop-up shop is now a busy brick-and-mortar on Burnet Road. Black-woman-owned Black Pearl Books is a family-run business that brings the voices of other Black authors to the table. Banned books also make up the stock on their shelves, and the owners raise awareness for improving Texas' literacy rates through events and their nonprofit, Put It in A Book.
If you’re not aware of the largest independent bookstore in the state of Texas, what rock are you living under? BookPeople has been leading the way for other local shops since it was founded in 1970. The store has two floors filled with thousands of books and gifts. They also have an extensive events calendar with plenty of book clubs, family friendly activities, and meet-and-greets with local and nationally recognized authors.
This shop is the perfect place for all of your tattoo ideas and reference needs. Wendy Belzel founded her namesake bookstore over two decades ago to inspire local tattoo artists with hand-curated reference books. The store currently carries over 400 titles on its shelves, and has provided a personal delivery service since its inception.
Lark and Owl Booksellers
Though they're not in Austin, we would be remiss to exclude one of the most proudly progressive bookshops in Georgetown. From their unique events like their recent "Retro Prom at the Bookstore" to their trivia nights, Lark and Owl adds well-loved fun and whimsy to the downtown area. The shop is currently revitalizing their in-house cafe, Alouette Bistro, which will soon give patrons all the more reason to spend the day among the brightly-lit space full of friendly faces and familiar reads.