Texas Bookstores Celebrate Their Independence – And Resilience

The first-ever Texas Independent Bookstore Day begins tomorrow at Austin’s BookPeople.

By Rhonda FanningAugust 4, 2017 4:45 pm

It’s not unheard of for an obituary to be published by mistake. A few years ago, People.com put up their obit for actor Kirk Douglas, who – at 100 years old – is still alive.

Something similar happened to Dallas-based Half Price Books chain, Austin’s BookPeople and independent bookstores across the country, when the first e-reader made its debut. The death knell never rang so loud. Turns out that bookstores aren’t dead after all, at least not some of the Texas best-known ones.

This weekend, several independent booksellers across Texas are celebrating the fact they’ve survived the e-book trend, and thanking the people that keep the shops going. Texas Independent Bookstore Day – an idea BookPeople Director of Marketing Abby Fennewald says began with the store’s CEO, Steve Bercu years ago – kicks off its inaugural event at the store Saturday.

With Half Price Books achieving sales of $260 million last year, BookPeople experiencing growth and more small bookstores popping up around the state, Fennewald is positive about the future. Because of their adaptability, Fennewald says independent bookstores can remain successful.


Written by Louise Rodriguez.