As a book lover, there is nothing quite like the thrill of discovering a new bookstore. With its eclectic mix of independent shops and well-known chains, Austin is a haven for book enthusiasts of all kinds.
Whether you're in the mood for a cozy used bookstore or a sprawling emporium filled with new releases, Austin has something for everyone.
What makes Austin's bookstores so special is their commitment to fostering a sense of community. Many of these shops host regular events, such as author readings, book clubs, and writing workshops, that bring readers and writers together.
They also often feature local authors and highlight local interests, whether it's Texas history or the city's vibrant music scene.
In addition to promoting community, Austin's bookstores are known for their excellent selection of books. Whether you're looking for the latest bestseller, a classic novel, or a niche nonfiction title, you're sure to find it in one of these stores.
And if you're not sure what you're in the mood for, the knowledgeable and passionate staff at these stores are always happy to make recommendations.
So whether you're a lifelong Austinite or just visiting for the first time, be sure to check out some of the city's best bookstores.
You never know what treasures you might find.
1. Kinokuniya Austin
Kinokuniya Austin is a Japanese-based bookstore that offers a unique shopping experience.
With a large selection of Asian books, magazines, DVDs, and stationery, customers will find plenty of items to pique their interest.
The store is well-organized and easy to navigate, with friendly and helpful staff always available to assist.
Whether you're looking for Japanese-language books or just want to explore a different culture, Kinokuniya Austin is definitely worth a visit.
BookPeople is a must-visit for book lovers. This independent bookstore has a vast collection of new releases, classics, and unique finds that will keep you browsing for hours.
They also have a cozy cafe inside, perfect for those who want to take a break and enjoy a cup of coffee or tea.
The store regularly hosts readings by local and national authors, making it a hub for book-related events.
Additionally, they have a variety of quirky gift items for sale, making it an ideal spot to find a unique present for a bookish friend. BookPeople truly embodies the local flavor and charm of an independent bookstore.
3. Austin Books & Comics
Austin Books & Comics is a must-visit for comic book enthusiasts. This veteran shop has an extensive collection of comics, graphic novels, and pop culture collectibles.
The staff is friendly, knowledgeable, and always willing to help. The store is well-organized and easy to navigate, making the shopping experience a breeze.
The selection of both mainstream and indie comics is impressive, and the prices are fair. The store also offers pre-ordering and pull-list services.
Austin Books & Comics is the perfect place to dive into the exciting world of comic books and pop culture collectibles.
4. Black Pearl Books
Black Pearl Books is a must-visit bookstore for book lovers. Their well-curated collection of books and gifts is neatly organized, making it easy to find what you're looking for.
The owners are friendly and welcoming, making the shopping experience even more enjoyable.
They offer an online ordering system with in-store pickup, making it convenient for customers to shop from the comfort of their homes.
The bookstore specializes in black, latino, and social issues, making it a unique and valuable addition to the community. Supporting this independent bookstore is a great way to invest in the local community and discover new reads.
5. Reverie Books
Reverie Books is a well-curated bookstore and gift shop with a large selection of books despite its cozy space.
The owner is a fantastic human who engages customers in conversations about their favorite books.
This newly established independent bookstore has a great energy and is very welcoming. Additionally, they give back to organizations a portion of their profit.
Reverie Books is highly recommended for book lovers looking for a new favorite local bookstore.
BookWoman is a female-focused bookstore that specializes in books by and about women.
The store also offers a variety of unique gift items such as tarot cards, puzzles, and enamel pins.
The staff is knowledgeable and friendly, providing great recommendations for customers.
The store also hosts events and has a wide selection of titles available online. BookWoman is a must-visit for anyone looking for feminist literature and unique gifts.
7. Belzel Books
Belzel Books is a unique bookstore with an impressive collection of tattoo books.
They have everything from pocket-sized reference books to fancy hardcover books that you will want to flip through again and again.
The staff is friendly, knowledgeable, and always willing to help. They also offer fast shipping for online orders.
If you are into tattoos and want to explore the world of tattoo art, Belzel Books is the place to be.
8. Vintage Bookstore and Wine Bar
Vintage Bookstore and Wine Bar is a charming spot that combines two of the best things in life: books and wine. The bookstore is cozy and well-curated with a good variety of books to choose from.
The wine bar offers a nice selection of wines and snacks to enjoy while reading or chatting with friends. The building has a historic feel to it, and there are plenty of seating options both inside and outside.
The staff is friendly and knowledgeable, and they even suggest wines to pair with your reading material. It's a perfect spot for a weekend night out, with music playing in the background but still quiet enough to read or have conversations.
The bookstore also has multiple back rooms for those who want more privacy. The only downside is that the bathrooms are gendered, but they are single occupancy. All in all, Vintage Bookstore and Wine Bar is a must-visit for book and wine lovers.
9. Austin Public Library Recycled Reads Bookstore
Austin Public Library Recycled Reads Bookstore is a non-profit used book store run by the library. They offer an excellent selection of books at unbeatable prices, with most paperbacks priced at $1 and hardcovers at $2.
The store is well organized, with books arranged by subject and fiction by author last name. In addition to books, they also sell jigsaw puzzles, music, and movies.
The store is not a typical library, as visitors can chat with friends, bring in coffee and snacks, and even work on projects at large tables.
They also regularly host events like crafting, poetry reading, and live music. This bookstore is a gold mine for book lovers who want to grow their library without breaking the bank.
10. 12th Street Books
12th Street Books is a haven for book lovers who seek rare and signed books. This independent retailer specializes in antiquarian books, first editions, and small-press titles.
The staff is friendly and knowledgeable, making it a great place to ask for recommendations.
However, the store is not open often, so it's best to make an appointment before visiting.
If you're looking for a unique find, 12th Street Books is definitely worth checking out.
11. Monkeywrench Books
Monkeywrench Books is a volunteer-run bookstore with a focus on social and economic justice. The store is not your typical Barnes and Noble, but rather a cozy and lived-in space that welcomes everyone.
They offer a great selection of magazines, essays, and books, with some books even available for free.
The store is also home to an adorable kitten, adding to the welcoming atmosphere. Monkeywrench Books is a left-wing bookshop that supports equality and justice.
They have a great selection of zines for those interested. The staff is very chill and helpful, making for a pleasant shopping experience. If you're interested in social justice and activism, this is the place to go.
12. Half Price Books
Half Price Books is a family-owned chain that specializes in selling secondhand books, movies, and music in various formats.
The store has a large inventory of books, and customers can buy or sell their used books, CDs, DVDs, and vinyl records.
The store is well-organized, making it easy to find what you're looking for. The staff is friendly and knowledgeable, and they offer excellent customer service.
Half Price Books is a great place to find hidden treasures at affordable prices. If you love books, music, or movies, this store is definitely worth checking out.
13. Goodwill Central Texas – McNeil Bookstore – Attended Donation Center
Goodwill Central Texas – McNeil Bookstore – Attended Donation Center is a small yet charming bookstore with a well-curated collection of books.
The store also offers a range of home goods, including glassware and plush toys. The store's main attraction is its impressive collection of CDs and records, which is a real gem for music lovers.
The staff is friendly and helpful, making the shopping experience a pleasant one.
While the store does not offer clothing or furniture, it's still a great place to find some unique and interesting items. As a non-profit organization, shopping here also supports a good cause.
14. South Congress Books
South Congress Books is a hidden gem for book lovers. The staff is knowledgeable and friendly, making browsing a pleasure.
Their curation of books is impressive, with a great variety of topics and genres.
The collection includes vintage and rare books, adding to the charm of the store. The mellow atmosphere makes it a great place to get lost in a book for hours.
If you're looking for a unique bookstore experience, South Congress Books is definitely worth a visit.
15. Barnes & Noble
Barnes & Noble is a bookstore chain that offers a vast selection of books for adults and children. The store has a well-stocked and organized layout, making it easy to navigate and find what you're looking for.
There is also a large selection of magazines and writing journals, as well as a board game section.
The store has a cozy atmosphere, with plenty of seating options to relax and read. The staff is friendly and helpful, and the checkout process is efficient.
The store also has a cafe and free Wi-Fi, making it a great spot to work or study. Barnes & Noble is a great place to find your next reading adventure.