Book People, on first glance, may appear to be a local version of a Barnes & Noble. On closer inspection, though, the handwritten recommendations from staff beneath hundreds of books, the multitude of signed editions by authors who drop in to visit or speak, helpful fellow book worms with nametags around every shelf, an appreciation for local authors, and the quirky preferences of Austin readers, all make it clear that Book People is not an ordinary book store.
Founded in 1970, Book People, close to Downtown Austin and Barton Creek, has been the number one independent bookstore in Texas since its doors first opened. Appropriately, it has also been voted the best bookstore in Austin for over 15 years. Its national reputation as a haven for bibliophiles, having won Bookstore of the Year by Publisher’s Weekly, attracts a host of authors and public figures to the store for readings and talks. The store is open every day except Thanksgiving, and has an in-store café, massage chair, and meeting rooms for book clubs and speaking events. Book connoisseurs who do their reading in the polished oak library of an Austin luxury home or curled up in a cozy corner of warm apartment can find something to suit their literary tastes on the shelves at Book People.
Each sponsored book club meets once a month either on the third floor of Book People, or a fun gathering spot, like The Highball on South Lamar. Clubs cover a wide variety of reader interests, including adult fans of young adult books, mystery buffs, rewritten history enthusiasts, and new releases.
Austin is a city that features internationally recognized creative talent, and it’s not just the music and film scene that steals all the headlines. Authors love to call Austin home, whether because they are drawn by the warm weather and beautiful scenery, or the creative energy that pulsates throughout the city. Book People showcases local authors, highlighting their books and hosting them regularly during Local Author Nights. Notable Austin authors include Ernest Cline, author of Ready Player One, Caroline A. Shearer, author of Adventures of a Lightworker: Dead End Date, Bill Cotter, author of Fever Chart, and Louis Sachar, author of Holes.
Book People hosts over 300 events per year, with notable authors such as Alton Brown, Jeffrey Eugenides, Christopher Paolini, Lemony Snicket, Rachael Ray, Condoleeza Rice, Lev Grossman, Sarah Silverman, and Trisha Yearwood. The majority of these events are free and open to the public, with most held on site at the store. To get a book signed, purchase your book at the event or bring your receipt from Book People.