Do you know Iliana from Bookgirl’s Nightstand ? Her blog has archives going back to June of 2004 – yes, she’s been keeping a book blog for almost five years! Aside from her prolific writing of book reviews, book lists, and thoughtful comments, she manages Bookgirl’s Studio an Esty shop where she showcases her handmade books and journals; as Iliana says, “when I’m not reading books, I’m making them.” This week, she offers a peek inside BookPeople in Austin.
Austin, Texas may well be known as “The Live Music Capital of the World,” or for its motto ‘Keep Austin Weird’ but for bookworms it’s also home to several independent bookstores. The most well known, which has won Reader’s Choice awards for 10 years in a row, is BookPeople.
Located in downtown Austin, BookPeople is locally owned and has been in business since 1970. Since it opened its doors it’s been bringing more than the bestsellers to Austin readers. The well lit and laid out bookstore has lots of sections so whether you are looking for new arrivals, mysteries, graphic novels, new age, poetry, or historical fiction you are sure to find it. There’s even a section just for Penguin Book editions.
Numerous staff selection cards line the shelves and book displays throughout the store are there to help the reader get out of their comfort zone. They don’t just focus on brand new books but on diversity so they’ll feature books from different publishing houses and lesser-known titles.
Book, or books in hand, you can settle down in one of the number of vintage, comfy chairs throughout the bookstore or you can take your books over to the cafe. The cafe, it should be noted, has free wi-fi, features art from local artists and of course the yummy treats are from local bakeries. Next to it is also the magazine section, which also has a nice variety of literary journals.
BookPeople has a full event calendar each month as it hosts several book groups and children events. Plus, any author reading/signing in Austin is bound to take place at BookPeople.
Before you leave BookPeople, you’ll also have to stop in their gift section, which has a lot of quirky and unique gifts. You’ll find cards (not of the Hallmark variety), jewelry made by local designers, journals, home decorations and apparel.
The bookstore opens from 9 a.m. to 11 p.m. so plenty of time to get lost amidst the stacks in the two-story building. So next time you are in Austin, sure see the Capitol building and have some fun on Sixth Street, but don’t forget to stop in at BookPeople.