In an age where buying a book is as simple as a click of the mouse, brick and mortar bookstores have become a vanishing breed. Buying books online may be convenient and more economical at times, but a good bookstore offers much more than books, it’s a cultural outpost where people can share ideas, chat with friends and enjoy a variety of social events. From musical performances and poetry workshops to Irish language classes and pajama-ramas, these community-centered bookstores offer a variety of interesting events and more.
Half Price Books
5803 E. Northwest Highway
Dallas, TX 75231
Since its humble beginnings in 1972, this bookstore has always been focused on the community and the environment — after all, it’s filled with recycled books, music, movies and games. The mothership store on Northwest Hwy is the grandest of all 12 DFW locations and has such a huge assortment of items that you can easily spend the day rummaging through the inventory. Plenty of seating alcoves, a coffee shop and a fabulous children’s area make spending the day here an even more inviting prospect. In addition, there’s always something going on, from weekly book clubs and kid’s story times to poet workshops and singers open mic nights. You’ll also find community meetings, panel book discussions, animal adoptions, book signings and a host of special events. Whether you come to find a book or stay for an event, the time you spend at this local hang-out will be time well spent.
Lucky Dog Books
10801 Garland Road
Dallas, TX 75218
This little gem, formally known as Paperbacks Plus, is a true bibliophile’s dream. You’ll find an array of used books, movies and music, but you’ll also find some real treasures including rare LPs, hard to find novels and vintage children’s books. Between the three locations in East Dallas, Oak Cliff and Mesquite, there’s something going almost daily — from book readings and signings to concerts and workshops. If you’re interested in joining a book group, check out the White Rock Reads, a mixed genre book club that meets the last Saturdays of the month. If you’ve always wanted to learn how to speak Irish, drop in on the Irish language class on Saturday afternoons. Saturday evenings are usually filled with literary and music events and every other Sunday there’s a writer’s block workshop. Need to harmonize your inner soul? Then get spiritually and physically connected with yoga tune-up classes on Mondays and Tibetan Buddhism Ideas on Tuesdays.
A Real Bookstore
113 Prairie Road
Fairview, TX 75069
This indie bookstore offers a great collection of books, including many by local and new authors. There’s also plenty of area for everyone to hang out, from a 2000-square foot. children’s section and an indoor-outdoor cafe to the event space where the store hosts its book signings, meetings, cooking classes and demonstrations. Other events include holiday celebrations, youth game nights, seminars, art shows and contests. For kids, there are stories, crafts and snacks on Tuesdays and Wednesdays mornings. Friday nights, kids can come dressed in pajamas for a pajama-rama party featuring bedtime stories and more crafts. There’s a reading group for older kids on the first Thursdays of the month. If you’re an adult, there are several reading groups, including the Girls Night Out where you can chat about books and sip good wine at the same time.
Related: Five Must Read Books By DFW Authors
The Dock Bookshop
6637 Meadowbrook Drive
Fort Worth, TX 76112
The Dock Bookshop is the largest independent, African-American owned bookstore in the Southwest and sells a great collection of books for all ages, as well as cards candles, music and gifts. The store prides itself on being community centered and offers regular author appearances, book signings, panel discussions, film screenings, youth nights and fitness seminars. There’s a variety of celebrity authors that have come here to speak and sign books, including LL Cool J, Pam Grier and Russel Simmons. Additionally, the store hosts ongoing events every week including, a pens and pancakes writers workshop every first Saturday, a history and culture reading group every second Monday, a wine, food and live music night every fourth Monday, a reading group for men every Tuesday and a reading group for women every fourth Monday. The Dock also collaborates with various non-profits, including the Texas Literacy Connection, to host annual festivals, book events, classes and workshops.
The Book Carriage & World Blend Coffee Shop
304 N. Oak St.
Roanoke, TX 76262
Located in the historic downtown section of Roanoke, this independent community bookstore sells a large selection of books covering a variety of genres, including indie books and books by local authors. The shop embodies the quintessential community bookstore, from the historical building it occupies to the wide range of regular events it hosts. Along with art shows and book signings, there’s live entertainment offered every Saturday evening featuring various musicians and open mic nights. There are plenty of children’s activities as well, ranging from special holiday events to crafts and bilingual story times. In addition, you’ll find an assortment of group meet-ups here, such as the Chix with Stix knitting club and several book groups geared towards lively discussion, including one that focuses on banned books.
Related: Guide To The Fort Worth Library
Ilene Jacobs is a freelance writer living in Dallas, Texas. Ilene enjoys writing about a variety of topics, ranging from food, fitness and travel, to kids, pets and senior care. You can find some of her work at Examiner.com.