Friday, August 24, 2012

Chaos in Tejas

I just got back from a week in Austin, Texas and boy and howdy was it a good time. I ate so much barbecue the composition of my blood is literally 1/3 wood smoke now, and I've spent the last coupla days back in Boston letting my stomach shrink from insatiable Texas-size to normal size. Special thanks here to Franklin Barbecue where we had to line up 3 hours early for the most...indescribably amazing food I've ever stuffed down my gullet.

Among the whirlwind chaos I reigned in Tejas (bars, roller derby, donut trucks, pub trivia, vintage shops) a girl like me has one steadfast weakness. Bookstores (duh). I am completely one of those weirdos that goes to other bookstores on her days off AND vacations. A calling is a calling.

Of the many awesome bookstores I hit in Austin here check out some of the best:

603 N Lamar

This massive indie is spacious, well-stocked and has great staff picks throughout. I picked up a few favorites for my Texan host and got some rad Keep Austin Weird stickers for free. They even have a cafe! A good place to stop in on your jaunt after eating at the restaurant Bacon, or having rad burgers at Counter Cafe across the street.

Domy Books
913 E Cesar Chavez

Domy is a ways away from things but it's crazy awesome. Domy features art, photography, comics and fiction in a well-curated collection, as well as cool toys, zines and cards and a gallery space. Worth the walk, and not far from renowned (and awesome) coffee shop Progress. (Try the Iced Lightning!)
Recycled Reads
5335 Burnet Road
This very tidy, well-organized shop is an ongoing library sale, in which all sales benefit the Austin Public Library. I found a German edition of Das Parfum for $2. Not only is this difficult to find in general, it woulda set me back $30 in Cambridge had I bought it new. Super cheap, too. All paperbacks are $1, and hardcovers are $2.

South Congress Books
1608 South Congress Ave
If I had to pick favorites (and I never, ever would) I might have spent the most time in South Congress Books. The gentleman behind the counter was a well-read sweetheart and even all the customers were super cool, recommending books to each other and patiently browsing the shelves around all the patrons. It was a beautiful shop with multimedia book art gracing the walls, all used inventory in great condition, and really cool local handmade gifts and cool cards and journals. They sold individual pages out of cool old books in cellophane sleeves for cheap for crafty projects. Also, the bookmarks are super sturdy. South Congress itself is a great destination, just south of downtown Austin it's a stretch of road lined with great antique stores, record shops, massive candy stores, and a food truck lot in addition to a million other things. A great hub to spend a lazy and vibrant afternoon.

Thanks for reading, and I hope your travels take you to Austin because it is a fun and wild city with plenty to do ALL the time. Don't miss it!

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