Austin, Texas is one big book-loving city. Throughout Austin, you’ll find historic literary landmarks, libraries and independent bookstores. There’s also plenty of book festivals and lit events happening all year round. Being such a hotspot for bookworms, there are some really interesting and unique booksellers to visit. Ready to peruse those shelves? Here’s our list of some of the best bookstores in Austin.
This Japanese-based bookstore sells a collection of Asian books and magazines. You’ll find the store on Airport Boulevard in the Highland area of Austin. On the shelves, is Japanese literature as well as a wide selection of English-language books. There is a terrific range of titles related to manga, art, fashion and a whole lot more besides. You’ll also find cool stationery and gifts with lots of Japanese brands in stock. Keep your eye out for events like book signings, storytelling sessions and anime meet-ups.
Monkeywrench Books is a wonderful collectively-owned community bookstore run by volunteers. It is located in the North Loop area of Austin. Monkeywrench is a hub and centre for activists, and this is reflected in its book offerings. On the shelves, you’ll find plenty of revolutionary reading material from Che to Chomsky. You’ll also find books focusing on social and economic topics. There is free coffee to sip as you browse and staff are chatty and friendly. They’ll happily steer you towards some interesting titles.
Malvern Books is a bookstore and community space. It is situated on the corner of Rio Grande and West 29th Street just north of the UT campus. This independent bookstore specialises in literature and poetry from writers and independent publishers. The big, bright space also stocks books translated from other languages. Being a community hub, plenty of events take place here. Readings from emerging writers, book clubs and musical evenings are all on the calendar. The staff picks are always interesting and because of this, you are sure to find an engaging title to add to your collection.
Red Salmon Arts, is the nonprofit behind Resistencia Bookstore. It was founded in 1983 by Chicano poet and activist, raúlrsalinas. The bookstore specialises in Native, Chicana/o-Mexicana/o, Latina/o and African-American writers. There’s plenty of feminist, queer and children’s bilingual literature too. The space is also used for grassroots organisations and hosts a variety of cultural and literary events. It is a safe haven for the Latinx/Chicanx/Native American community in Austin. Resistencia Books is located on Thrasher Lane in the Montopolis neighbourhood in Austin.
South Congress Books, on South Congress Avenue, is a warm and welcoming space. The owner fills the bookcases and shelves with carefully curated items. The bookstore specialises in art, literature, music, vintage children’s books, cookbooks, original music posters, and select artworks and vinyl. On the shelves, you’ll find plenty of “quirkiana” – books on speciality, niche topics. Bookworms and collectors love this place as it has a great vibe with plenty of literary treasures to find.
The award-winning book store has been in downtown Austin since it first opened in 1970. You’ll find something for everyone here, including a cafe here where you can relax with your purchases and enjoy great coffee and food. Knowledgeable staff fill the shelves with a wide range of titles, which cover a wide range of genres. Events take place regularly, including plenty of high-profile author readings and storytimes for children.
On Burnet Road in North Austin, you’ll find Recycled Reads. This bookstore receives all of Austin Public Library’s discarded material, as well as donations from the public. The staff and volunteers then sell, recycle or repurpose this material. This keeps material out of the landfill, therefore it’s the perfect spot for environmentally conscious readers to stock up on books. All proceeds from the Recycled Reads Bookstore directly benefit the Austin Public Library, so you know your money is going to a good cause.