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Close view of a book stack held by a young woman



As the great Dr. Suess once said, “The more you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go!” Stretch your imagination and knowledge with a book, and you’ll understand what it’s like to escape reality for a moment in time. Luckily here in Houston, bookstores are our thing. Here are three independent shops that are worth a visit.

Blue Willow Bookshop

From the outside looking in, this is the cutest little bookshop you ever did see. And once you enter Blue Willow Bookshop, you’ll get lost in the numerous titles and genres. What started out at Musabelle’s Books in 1973 is now Blue Willow Bookshop, and has been the last 24 years. This small shop takes pride in each and every title they carry, with an incredible selection. Have a book in mind? They will order it for you, which is a whole lot better than supporting a big box store.

Brazos Bookstore

It’s not a rare occasion to be shopping alongside one of Houston’s literary heavyweights while browsing in Brazos Bookstore. A Houston staple since 1974, Brazos is locally owned and operated (by all 27 employees, to be exact!) and offers readers the best in contemporary and classic literature, non-fiction, art and architecture monographs, and children’s books. There are plenty of opportunities for readers to engage with local authors through in-person and interactive book signing events. Discover the next greatest book at Brazos.

Half Price Books

So we’re stretching the definition of independent here, but Half Price Books is definitely worth a visit. There’s something about secondhand that makes books so much more enjoyable – knowing that someone before you has read and experienced the same book. Half Price Books is a Dallas-based, family-owned chain that specializes in buying and selling secondhand books, movies, and records. They buy and sell literally (pun intended) anything that has ever been printed, so if you want it, they surely will have it. The selection of books is top-notch, and you can always count on a good deal.

Settle in for a cozy weekend of reading after a trip to one of these three must-visit independent bookstores in Houston. For more around-town fun, check out The Ranch at Shadow Lake blog.