Amid the uncertainty of a worldwide pandemic, many Houstonians have found themselves aching to be transported from the monotony of a socially-distanced, work-from-home routine. Maybe we yearn to be touched in a time where human contact has become taboo. Maybe we simply want to educate ourselves about the social unrest present in our streets. Regardless of the motivation, people find refuge in the solace of loved hobbies and comforting tales. While real-time adventures may have to wait a while, books are ready to fill the gap that disease has created between us. While you’re at it, why not support an independent bookstore in need of our patronage? Here’s a few Houston treasures worth checking out.
Loved by all, Brazos Bookstore opened its doors in 1974. Despite founder Karl Killian’s retirement in 2006, the shop is still locally owned thanks to 27 patrons who decided to purchase the bookstore in order to keep its doors open. Due to the pandemic, the storefront is closed, but Brazos makes book shopping a breeze through their website. Their inventory is updated regularly. You can make your order online or over the phone for shipment or curbside pickup.
Murder by the Book
Houston’s go-to for intense thrillers and shocking mysteries, Murder by the Book is one of the nation’s largest specialty bookstores and has been around since 1980. The shop boasts a hefty inventory of over 25,000 books. They are fully stocked with intriguing reads, both fiction and nonfiction, to first edition titles and mystery magazines. Orders are being taken online through their website, through email at firstname.lastname@example.org, and over the phone. The store is currently closed to in-person browsing.
River Oaks Bookstore
Serving Houston since 1974, this River Oaks gem has a diverse selection of fiction and nonfiction books. They also showcase a variety of Texas titles in a literary homage to our home state. Another bonus: River Oaks has the best selection of decorative coffee table books on many different subjects. Whether it be architecture and design or travel, you’re sure to find something that will fit in your home. The physical location is currently closed, but they are taking orders over the phone and by email at email@example.com.
Houston Press’ Best Bookstore of 2015, Kaboom Books offers a unique selection of both current and out-of-print titles. They also buy, sell and trade books. While the shop is currently closed, book lovers can call and email for curbside pickup.
Blue Willow Bookshop
Originally Musabelle’s Books and opened in 1973, Blue Willow Bookshop was renamed in 1996 when a couple decided to purchase the shop from Musabelle Naut. The shop is family-friendly and normally hosts many clubs and events. Blue Willow is proud of their family-friendly culture and seeks to encourage a transgenerational love of reading. In-store shopping is allowed by appointment only, but you can always order your favorite titles online. They are also offering curbside pickup for your convenience.
Opened by Dan Becker in 1993, Becker’s Books began as a passion project built out of owner Becker’s personal book collection. Now fully realized as one of the largest locally-owned bookstores in Houston, the shop offers Houston’s largest selection of used, antique and rare books. While not up to date with current titles, Becker’s Books offers a unique venture into a world of books you didn’t even realize you were searching for. Their storefront is closed for now, but you can order books by contacting the store through phone or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Lift On 19th
A pocket full of color in the Heights, The Lift is both bookstore and gift shop. They offer a variety of items from Houston and Texas-themed souvenirs to fashion apparel. However, they pride themselves on being an artsy bookstore first and foremost, filled with a variety of fiction, nonfiction and young adult books. The Lift is taking orders through Facebook and email at email@example.com.
Did we miss one of your favorites? Let us know which local love is your go-to book destination.