Discover Austin: BookPeople

When you think of bookstores in this town, one name rises to the top. We’re going to visit BookPeople on this episode of Discover Austin.

If you'd prefer to read about BookPeople, the transcript can be found below the video.

BookPeople is one of the local businesses that is part of the fabric of Austin.  It’s the largest independent bookstore in Texas and one of the largest in the nation.  While notable for many things, perhaps the most prominent is the constant presence of author events.  BookPeople brings in authors several times a week to talk about their books, have Q&A sessions, and, of course, for book signings.  While many of these take place in the store, events expecting larger turnouts are held at off-site venues.  While many are free, some are ticketed.

BookPeople offers a wide variety of books as well as gifts and other items.  The kids’ section is impressive and hosts many storytime events.  CoffeePeople, the on-site coffee shop, offers a variety of drinks, sandwiches, and snacks.

BookPeople opened as Grok Books in 1970.  It moved locations in 1984 and that’s when the name was changed to BookPeople, which comes from Ray Bradbury’s classic, Fahrenheit 451.  In 1995, BookPeople moved to its current location at 6th and Lamar which offered luxury of space to expand its offerings and compete with the big box booksellers which were really taking hold at the time.  In 2002, BookPeople helped popularize the Keep Austin Weird slogan which was meant as a rallying cry to support local businesses.

Every year since 1991, BookPeople has been named to the “Best Of” lists as voted by Austin Chronicle readers.

A Community Bound by Books is the store’s slogan.  It really does capture the bookstore’s relationship with Austin.  It’s a store that understands, and caters to, it’s audience. By providing events and services that can’t be duplicated by online retailers, BookPeople continues to succeed where many others could not.

The next time you’re ready to pick out a great read, hear directly from an author, or help to Keep Austin Weird, you know that BookPeople is the place to go.

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