Connecting Texas books and writers with those who most want to discover them

2017 Top ELEVEN Readers’ Favorite Texas Bookstores

 

Texas readers have spoken. Nearly 2,500 of Lone Star Literary Life’s readers have cast ballots in 3 rounds of our statewide contest during May 2017 to recognize Texas’s favorite bookstores. Their final selections are as diverse as the state itself, and honorees include big indies, small indies, chain stores, used bookstores, and new bookstores in every corner of the state. And in the process, we were pleased to learn about places to buy books that we hadn’t even known before.

 

From the major cities of Dallas and Houston, to our state’s capitol city, from the historic Hill Country to the Piney Woods of East Texas, from the burbs to the beach, Texas bookshops are connecting with their communities. (Note that there was a tie for #6!) We are thrilled to showcase them in our second annual Lone Star Literary Life Readers’ Favorite Texas Bookstores — all 11 of them.

 

#1   South Padre Island: Paragraphs on Padre Boulevard

5505 Padre Boulevard, South Padre Island, TX (3 miles north of the Queen Isabella Causeway)
www.facebook.com/ParagraphsOnPadreBoulevard/

Owners: Joni Montover and Griff Mangan

Opened February 9, 2009

 

As avid readers and members of the American Booksellers Association we are fairly familiar with most genres of books but most of all we love to talk about books and welcome our customer’s suggestions and recommendations. We also pride ourselves on being active in the community and able to make recommendations for places to go, things to do and see, or where to eat and drink – we believe part of our role is to make sure visitors to South Padre Island have a wonderful and memorable vacation experience and so we welcome questions about the area – including the approximate time table for the free island shuttle.

 

We host numerous books signings and are happy to allow many self-published authors the opportunity to interact with potential readers in person. Based on participation and interest we have a Children’s Storytime, monthly book club, writer’s group, play reading group, and have hosted a variety of craft classes and art demonstrations. We are also a venue for the Valley International Poetry Festival every April.              (Right: Griff Mangan and Joni Montover, owners —along with resident Shih Tzus; photo courtesy of Paragraphs on Padre Boulevard)

 

We welcome groups to use our store for small gatherings or as a place to meet and discuss issues important to the community. We support many of the area’s non-profit organizations with our membership and sponsorships of their fund-raising events including the El Paseo Arts Foundation, Sea Turtle Inc., Surfrider’s Foundation, and the South Padre Island Birding and Nature Center. For several years we have sponsored a visiting author program with our local university. We continue to reach out and are anxious to find ways to work more efficiently with our local school districts. We donate books to the Boys and Girls Club.

 

Does staff assist in recommendations either in-store, on website, or social media? That is what we do best – recommend books. Since we like to read almost anything, including the back of cereal boxes – we will discover your interests and then help select the perfect book for your next beach read or for that special gift. We also are willing and patient enough to try to find something even the most reluctant reader will enjoy. We have an active presence on Facebook. We provide information to several local papers and currently do a book review/recommendation column for the Coastal Current.

 

As longtime visitors to South Padre Island we finally made a decision to move here and fulfill a lifetime dream of Joni’s to open a bookshop. With our home located across the courtyard from the store we honestly feel like every time a customer walks into the store we are welcoming them into our home. So if you plan to come south for your beach vacation don’t weigh yourself down carrying books. If you have a particular title you would like to read, give us a call and we will make sure it is here waiting for you upon your arrival. Or please, just stop in and say hello.

 

 

#2  Frisco: Barnes & Noble #2060, at Stonebriar Centre

2601 Preston Rd., Ste. 1204, Frisco, TX 75034   http://store-locator.barnesandnoble.com/store/2060

Store Manager: Jamie Lockhart

Community Business Development Manager: Nicole Caliro

Opened August 2000

 

We have a group of diverse booksellers working in our store who are passionate about connecting readers with new books and new authors they will adore. If you ask each of our booksellers their favorite book, no one book will be alike (though we pretty much all love Harry Potter).

 

Literary and community outreach efforts in store: In addition to hosting over 100 in-store events in 2015, BN Stonebriar serves Frisco, Prosper, Little Elm, and Celina ISDs, as well as several private schools and non-profits.  We work hard to make sure we are always at the disposal of our local school districts and that all educators have a place to come and feel the love during our seasonal Educator Appreciation Events.

 

Above right: Store employees gather with coauthors Jenna Hager Bush and Laura Bush during an signing for Our Great Big Backyard in 2016. Below left: There’s always something fun happening and Barnes & Noble at Stonebriar Mall!

 

Local Weekly Storytimes are held Thursdays at 11am; National Storytimes are held Saturdays at 11am.

We have a daily bookseller recommend on Facebook, as well as instagram guessing games exploring the hypothetical reading lists of famous literary characters and pop culture icons. We are proud to serve one of the fastest-growing communities in the country.  It is a privilege to share our love of reading with customers of all ages and bring storytimes, national events, and quality authors to the community.  As booksellers, our greatest joy is putting the right book in the hands of the right reader, whether it be school reading, a gift for a loved one, or a newly discovered gem recommended by one of our booksellers- the art of bookselling and passion for reading is alive and well in this North Texas hamlet.

 

 

#3 Kerrville: Wolfmueller’s Books

229 Earl Garrett, Kerrville, TX 78028      www.wolfmuellersbooks.com

Owners: Jon and Sandy Wolfmueller

Opened: 1984

 

Located in downtown Kerrville, with 3,000 square feet of space on the main floor and a bargain basement, Wolfmueller’s has a well-curated stock  of collectible and rare books  with special interest in Texana (of all genres). We also have very nice selections of  History, Civil War, Natural History, Fiction (many rare and/or signed) and many more subject areas. Children’s books are located in the bargain basement. We also carry a small selection of new books that relate to what we stock or are of local interest. We have books for the everyday reader or the serious collector.

 

Please stop in for a visit — we would love to talk books with you! Open Monday-Saturday 9  to 5.

 

Above right: Jon Wolfmueller, Jean Wolfmueller Weber, Sandy Wolfmueller (photo courtesy of Wolfmueller’s Books).

 

#4  Lexington: 40 Acre Wood

521 3rd Street, Lexington, TX 78947 (I like to think that we’re next door to Winnie-the-Pooh)

www.facebook.com/pages/40-Acre-Wood/207921539264878

Owner: Heidi Frazier

Opened 2010

 

40 Acre Wood, a small, bookstore in Lexington, Texas, is home to hundreds of eclectic titles on a smattering of all subjects, from almost-current fiction and Texana to learning Swahili. Dedicated to serving its small community of 1200, 40 Acre Wood has become a kind of literary general store where seniors, adults, and children often share books, advice, and opinions while drinking coffee or lemonade and a baked treat that a customer brought in for the day.

Above right: Heidi Frazier store owner, (courtesy of 40 Acre Wood)

 

Open only three days each week, 40 Acre Wood strives to serve the community, especially children. Story time is held each week and every child is welcome to take home a free book each time he walks through the door. 40 Acre Wood also hosts its free summer reading club each year offering books, prizes, and an end-of-summer party to all its participants, well over 100 children every summer.

 

Apart from books sold on consignment and purchased for resale, many books are given to 40 Acre Wood. Customers who bring books to the store are asked to name a charity or non-profit; a portion of those sales is then given to that charity. 40 Acre Wood donates hundreds of dollars each year to the causes most important to its customers.

 

40 Acre Wood is a great store to find a find and stands by its motto: “Buy two. Read one. Give one.”

 

#5  Tyler: The Last Bookstore Tyler

2702 East Fifth Street, PMB 316, Tyler TX 75701    www.thelastbookstoretyler.com

Owners: Lisa and Scott Krumm

Opened: 2012

 

Our first love is books! Our store resulted from that love and an auction—The Last Book Sale, from Booked Up in Archer City. We went to the auction to buy three books and ended up with 300. From this The Last Book Store Tyler was born. We grew rapidly after this, as we travel extensively buying books for our inventory from good inexpensive reading to collectibles—first editions, antiquarian and rare books. There is something for everyone. With our constant turnover of stock—we book-lovers—also buy books. Thank you for visiting our site, and we look forward to assisting you with your purchases. (And to a bricks-and-mortar store soon!)

 

Click here to check out our inventory: www.abebooks.com/the-last-book-store-tyler-tx/59747352/sf                    Above right: Owner Lisa Krumm (right) and daughter Tobi Sparks (courtesy of The Last Bookstore Tyler)

 

#6a  Austin: Barnes & Noble #2536 Arboretum

10000 Research Blvd., #158, Austin TX 78759   http://store-locator.barnesandnoble.com/store/2536

Community Relations Manager: Stephanie Sanchez                                                                Below right: Staff of Barnes & Noble Arboretum (courtesy of B&N)

 

Austinites and visitors alike are stunned by this beautiful Barnes & Noble store in the Arboretum. Two floors and a wall of windows capture the natural light and make book browsing easier. Since 1994, this store has been a local favorite place to hang out, drink coffee, buy books and music, and maybe run into a celebrity or two. Popular for date nights, we even set up a surprise engagement for a couple who met and had their first date here.  The store is staffed by veteran booksellers who are always ready with a book recommendation or a fun event like the monthly meeting of Dumbledore’s Army.

 

#6b  Dallas: Deep Vellum Books

2919 Commerce St. #159, Dallas TX 75226     www.deepvellum.com

Founders: Will Evans and Anne Hollander

Opened: 2016

 

It's a bold idea: a bookstore in the year 2016. Will Evans, Founder of Deep Vellum Publishing, opened a bookstore with the help of the community around him. Our landlord, Madison Partners, got the vision - an independent voice nestled in a community full of history and culture. Our friends, too many to name, dutifully supported this bold idea by purchasing actual printed books on occasion - at least when they weren't planning underground performance events and launch parties.

 

And when the obligations got real and the business was ready for liftoff - about four months after the doors officially opened, and a few weeks after new babies were born and golden opportunities bestowed - Anne Hollander joined Deep Vellum Books as a Co-Founder, with the responsibility to take over the store and turn the bold vision into an empire.

 

We're located in the historic heart of Deep Ellum, our roots grounded in growth, tenacity, and expression. Gen X may remember our home as Club Clearview, the sign still perched in our store windows, or as the site of the inaugural Dallas Film Festival. Boomers may remember this building as a reputable storefront, or as home legendary blues and jazz artist Leadbelly, his music drifting through the alleyway at sunset. As for the Millennials - this was the site of an unregistered winery, our floors now pocked with meritage blends.

 

To us, it's the site where it all begins.

 

 

#7  Houston: Brazos Bookstore

2421 Bissonnet St, Houston, TX 77005-1451    www.brazosbookstore.com

Manager: Benjamin Ryback

Opened: 1974

 

Brazos Bookstore was started in 1974 by Karl Kilian, a devoted member of Houston's literary community. Since then, Brazos has been serving Houston's readers with a carefully curated selection of fiction, general nonfiction, and kids' books. We also offer a jam-packed schedule of events for adults, teens, and children.

 

Right: Brazos Bookstore’s incredibly lively thoughtful, engaged, knowledgeable, and literary staff (courtesy of Brazos Boosktore)

 

 

 

#8  Alpine: Front Street Books

121 & 201 E. Holland Ave., Alpine, TX 79830   www.fsbooks.com

Owner: Jean Hardy Pittman

Opened: 1994

 

At Front Street Books, independence is the watchword for bookselling. We follow our own and our customers’ decisions on what to stock in our store—and we have a broad and deep, personal, selection.

 

We’ve served Alpine and the Big Bend area of West Texas since 1994. Our inventory includes new, used, and out-of-print titles. It emphasizes local and regional subjects, of course, but we carry all the national/regional bestsellers and a broad range of other topics, favoring History, Science, Natural History, Literature, Children's Fiction and Non-Fiction, Religion and Spirituality, Cookbooks, General Fiction, and Science Fiction and Fantasy.

 

We ship orders all over Texas and the U.S. What you don’t find in our store online, we’ll get in a jiffy from our shelves or from a wholesaler and send it anywhere you are. All you have to do is call us or e-mail us with your requests.

 

Like us on Facebook for updates on special events and new releases, or browse our out-of-print books on Abebooks.com at www.abebooks.com/front-street-books-alpine-tx-u.s.a/116631/sf

 

Above: Front Street Books: Alpine, Texas location (photo from store’s Facebook page)

 

 

#9  Dallas:  Barnes & Noble #2884 Lincoln Park

7700 West Northwest Highway, Dallas, TX 75225
http://store-locator.barnesandnoble.com/store/2884

Manager: Craig Schlabs

Community relations manager: Cody McMahan

Opened September 1998

 

Our management team has 152 years of bookselling experience, and all of us together have a combined total of 283 years of bookselling experience!

 

Storytimes are held Tuesday @ 11AM and Saturday @ 11AM. Other community events include Annual Holiday Book Drive benefiting the Reading Is Fundamental; Bookfair fundraisers benefiting schools, libraries, and arts organizations; Barnes & Noble Summer Reading Triathlon – rewarding kids for reading over the summer with free books!

Craig Schlabs (Store Manager) and Cody McMahan (Community Relations Manager); courtesy of Barnes & Noble.

 

We are available for recommendations in-store by phone or by facebook message. Come join us to be a part of the best of book culture:  deep levels of book and music expertise, excellence customer service and fantastic events from storytimes to author events with note worthies from the literary, political and celebrity worlds. We combine the best of your store around the corner and all the advantages of being a part of Barnes & Noble!

 

#10  Fort Worth: The Last Word Bookstore

615 S. Jennings Ave., Fort Worth, Texas   www.facebook.com/thelastwordbookstore

Owner: Paul Combs

Opened: 2016

 

Paul Combs fulfilled his childhood dream of having his own bookstore when he opened The Last Word Bookstore, on Friday, May 27, 2016 in Fort Worth.

 

In December 2015, after he learned of his job’s outsourcing, Combs (right) launched a GoFundMe online campaign to raise money to cover start-up costs. The campaign, which offered contributors lifetime discounts ranging from five percent off for a donation of $25 to $99 to 25 percent off for donations of $5,000 and above, raised more than $9,000 in five months.

 

The store — 2,700 square feet of space housed in a former beauty salon —features more fiction than nonfiction as well as a wide selection of local and independently published authors.

 

 

 

* * * * *

LONE STAR LITERARY LIFE   copyright © 2015–17 Paragraph Ranch LLC  •  All rights reserved  •  CONTACT US