Texas bookstores are opening, closing, relocating, and Kickstarting



Now open in downtown Abilene, Seven and One Books offers more than page-turners in all genres. 


The store's marketing tagline is "a book sanctuary," said owner Arlene Kasselman, "because the desire is to make it a destination where people can come and sit and sort of find a peaceful spot." 


That sanctuary opened in the former Roberts Studio location at 1138 N. Second St. That's a block west of Grain Theory, the brewery where Kasselman's husband, David, is one of the owners.  


Seven and One made its debut as an online store around Thanksgiving 2021, and since then Kasselman has made pop-up appearances at various events, including the Children's Art & Literacy Festival and Abilene's ArtWalk. 



Independent bookstore First Light Books will be opening in spring of 2023 at 4300 Speedway. 


Owner Robin Bruce says, "We really believe that they[bookstores], when done well, can become places that gather the community and create spaces for ideas and connections and kind of old-school conversation, that sort of small-town feel within a neighborhood that feels harder and harder to find." 


Vintage Bookstore & Wine Barwill have its grand opening Saturday, October 15th, 2022, at 1101 East 11th St. in Austin, located in the historic Haehnel Building. 


Owner Jean Elizabeth Buckner says, "I look forward to being behind the bar and talking to our customers about this season's newest releases and my recommended book and wine pairings. I hope to build a place of inclusion and connection, a place that brings people together," said Buckner, referring to Vintage as "Austin's living room." In anticipation of the physical store, Buckner had been selling books at local farmers markets as well as online at Bookshop.org. Despite the name, Vintage Books & Wine will not be selling used books.  


Reverie Books is hosting its Grand Pretend We’re Opening Anniversary Part on Saturday, October 15th, 2022, 6PM-10PM, in their parking lot.  Reverie Books founder Thais Perkins opened Austin’s indie bookstore south of the river in 2021 to focus on serving the local artistic community and create a safe space for marginalized and underrepresented folks in South Austin. The store – named “Best Tiny Bookstore” by the Austin Chronicle in 2022 – has become a hub for LGQBTIA+ teens, families and shoppers who want to support a feminist bookstore. Each month, the store donates a portion of proceeds to a different nonprofit, and beneficiaries have included the Lilith Fund, Texas Refugee Services, The Library Foundation, Crockett High School, Austin Community College, and Lambda Legal. Reverie Books is located at 5330 Menchaca Road (Ste D) and is open from noon to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday and closed Mondays.  



Debuting as a pop-up bookstore this spring, Búhoin Brownsville, Tex., is now looking for a permanent home in which to open a new bookstore and cafe. 


Owner Gilbert Hernandez launched Búho after realizing that Brownsville was one of the largest metropolitan areas in the U.S. without a general bookstore. The shop made its debut in March with an appearance at the Amigoland Convention Center's pop-up event, where Hernandez sold mainly children's books, thrillers, romance novels and business and self-help titles. 


Hernandez plans to continue doing pop-up appearances while searching for a space, ideally in downtown Brownsville or in the Mitte Cultural District. Currently Búho sells used titles, but as the bookstore becomes more established Hernandez intends to become a new-books vendor as well. 



Burrowing Owlthe only full-service bookstore in Canyon, TX, has recently moved to 400 15th Street, Canyon, TX 79015. The bookstore features new books, gift items, greeting cards, & local authors.



Pantego Books is celebrating its grand opening October 8th at 2910 W Pioneer Parkway, Dalworthington Gardens, TX, and is a local independent bookstore specializing in the sale of new books.



New-to-us Benny’s Books is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit dedicated to cultivating literacy among Latino children and children from low income families generally. Benny's Books distributes free books to children, teachers, schools and organizations in hopes of promoting cultural and ethnic diversity, facilitating social change, and inspiring youth to pursue higher education. In addition, Benny's Books publishes books that promote and cater to diversity. For every book sold (paperback or hardcopy), a book will be given out for free.



A Kickstarter campaign has been launched to fund the opening of Talking Animals Books, "a cozy bookstore in historic Grapevine, Texas, featuring new and used books, theatrical and literary events, and family programming. Our vision is a community gathering spot that is an original, colorful, cozy destination serving the immediate area and surrounding DFW metroplex."


Founder and owner Katy Lemieux has set the project as an all-or-nothing campaign to reach the goal of $50,000 by 5PM CDT, Monday, October 17, 2022. (At this writing, $41,812 had been pledged. Learn more and back the project by going to: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/talkinganimalsbooks/talking-animals-bookstore). 



As of Tuesday, September 20th, 2022, Varsity Bookstore has officially announced that the store will be closing. It has been a major part of Texas Tech and its students’ lives since 1934 as the go-to place to get textbooks, TTU merch, graduation regalia, and more.



Owner Jillian Reed started LIT Bookbar as a bookclub, “a place for the ​mamas to take a break, drink a little, and chat a lot.” 

For now, they are a pop-up but have big plans to grow into a space that is “classy, cozy, and welcoming.”  



In response to some local school libraries decisions to remove or withhold Texas Bluebonnet Award nominee Unspeakable: The Tulsa Race Massacre by Carole Weatherford from their collections, during Banned Book Week, Nowhere Bookshop offered to donate up to 250 copies of the book to educators in their local school districts.

This picture book tells the history of the Black community of Greenwood and the 1921 Tulsa Massacre. On their Facebook page, Nowhere Bookshop said, "We believe elementary students here in San Antonio need access to this important work and we’d like to see this book in as many elementary school classrooms as possible." 



Rustic Moon Bookshop is temporarily closed and announced that it will not be renewing its lease. On the shop's Facebook page, owner Aimee Luna said, "the bookshop has outgrown the space with the events and programming I've been creating. So I've decided not to renew the lease at this location. I'm pausing on some of the activities while looking for a bigger and better space to accommodate us all," and asked everyone to watch social media for updates.


If you have Texas indie bookstore news you'd like included in one of our roundups, email Events@LoneStarLiterary.com with the details.