Independent Bookstore Day is celebrated at indie booksellers all over the country. It's a chance to step away from the computer, reconnect with favorite books and discover new reads.
Independent Bookstore Day is celebrated at indie booksellers all over the country. It's a chance to step away from the computer, reconnect with favorite books and discover new reads.
Graphic by Independent Bookstore Day, courtesy of Brazos Bookstore

Houston's Indie Booksellers Celebrating Their Day With Beer, Booze and Books

Protests come in all shapes and sizes. From organized marches (often with debatable head counts) to picketing to online campaigns gone viral, there's more than one way to make your voice heard. Independent Bookstore Day on April 28 is our chance to say up with indie booksellers in Houston, and down with the faceless big box behemoths trying to quash personalized service and one-of-a-kind finds. It's part of a national initiative at indies all over the country, making this one helluva party where anything is possible. (Hint: Drunk coloring is back.)

Author Celeste Ng (Everything I Never Told You, Little Fires Everywhere), is the 2018 ambassador for Independent Bookstore Day. Her love of indie booksellers dates back to childhood; her family loved discovering treasures in out-of-town bookstores (but only after dining at the local Chinese eatery).

The ever-popular drunk coloring is back. From 3 to 5 p.m. at Brazos Bookstore, enjoy craft beer from 11 Below Brewing Company and pick up a limited-edition bookmark by local artist/illustrator Jade O'Lantern.
The ever-popular drunk coloring is back. From 3 to 5 p.m. at Brazos Bookstore, enjoy craft beer from 11 Below Brewing Company and pick up a limited-edition bookmark by local artist/illustrator Jade O'Lantern.
Photo by Dee Zunker

Over on what we call booksellers row, Brazos Bookstore is doing it up right with an all-day raffle (a dollar nets a chance to win a book jacket poster of Michael Chabon's Moonglow or Tayari Jones's An American Marriage), events for kids at 10:30 a.m. and noon, poems and coffee with the impromptu Inprint Poetry Buskers from 1 to 3 p.m. and the ever popular drunk coloring from 3 to 5 p.m. where suds from 11 Below Brewing Company turn everybody into an artist. At 7 p.m. meet author Rodrigo Fresan (The Invented Part, The Bottom of the Sky) and Open Letter Books publisher Chad Post.

Local authors will be on hand to sign books at 4:30 p.m. as Murder By The Book celebrates Independent Bookstore Day.
Local authors will be on hand to sign books at 4:30 p.m. as Murder By The Book celebrates Independent Bookstore Day.
Photo by John Kwiatkowski

Literally a hop, skip and a jump down Bissonnet, come say hello to old friends and meet some of the new staffers over at Murder By The Book. At 1 p.m. they'll be discussing their favorite books while visitors nosh on champagne and snacks. Local authors are signing books at 4:30 p.m. and anybody who spends $100 (or more) on April 28 gets a chance to win the highly coveted "first place in line at all signings" VIP pass for a full year.

If you haven't been to 1/4 Price Books lately, then this is the perfect time to drop in, say hello to manager Larry Turk (he's the reading machine juggling four books at once) and check out the improvements they've made to the interior. There's a new high-tech air conditioning system with all sorts of bells and whistles, fancy new lighting and flooring, and an overall ambience that beckons.

Blue Willow Bookshop is celebrating Independent Bookstore Day all day, selling exclusive merch only available to participating indies.
Blue Willow Bookshop is celebrating Independent Bookstore Day all day, selling exclusive merch only available to participating indies.
Photo by Two Cats Communications

At Blue Willow Bookshop in west Houston, expect to see the Big Red Dog himself during the Clifford storytime at 10 a.m. That's followed by a book signing with local author Marshall Cobb (The Promise of the Orb) at 11 a.m., a book basket giveaway at 1 p.m. and, in the category of "it's five o'clock somewhere," the staff mixologists will be shaking up book-themed literary cocktails at 3 p.m.

Katy Budget Books is holding its Spring Market from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. with author appearances, free ebooks and exclusive merch, plus vendor tables with essential oils, skin care, pet supplies, fashion, jewelry and candles.

Be sure to stop by Becker's Books on April 28. They're holding a scavenger hunt at 1:30 p.m. with prizes in five sections of their 90,000 book inventory of biographies, history books, essays, crafts, cookbooks, mystery, politics, medicine, gardening, fiction, Texana and Americana, as well as those leather-bound classics, out-of-print and rare books. Sign up in the store or register in advance by emailing Ann Dunphy Becker at ann@texasbooks.net.

Not all of the below-listed Houston area indie booksellers are pulling out all the stops on April 28, but they all need your support to fend off those big name dot-com booksellers. So stop by and say hello, pick up a book or two or three, and remember how good it feels to escape into the pages of a really good read.

1/4 Price Books
3820 South Shepherd
713-520-5009

Becker's Books
7405 Westview
713-957-8088
houstonbooks.com

Blue Willow Bookshop
14532 Memorial
281-497-8675
bluewillowbookshop.com

Books Abound
11600 Jones Road
281-807-5505
facebook.com/Books-Abound-108126145895190

Brazos Bookstore
2421 Bissonnet
713-523-0701
brazosbookstore.com

Brown Book Shop
1517 San Jacinto
713-652-3937
browntechnical.org

Cathedral Bookstore
1117 Texas Avenue
713-222-0286
cathedralbookstore.wordpress.com

Kaboom Books
3116 Houston Avenue
713-869-7600
kaboombooks.com

Katy Budget Books
2450 Fry
281-578-7770
katybooks.com

Lloyd's Book Shop
2426 Sunset
713-520-5861
usedbookstoreinhoustontx.com

Lucia's Garden
2360 West Alabama
713-523-6494
facebook.com/luciasgarden

Menil Bookstore
1520 Sul Ross
713-535-3180
menil.org/read/visit-bookstore

Murder By The Book
2342 Bissonnet
713-524-8597
murderbooks.com

River Oaks Bookstore
3270 Westheimer
713-520-0061
riveroaksbookstore.com

Sagemont Bookstore
11300 South Sam Houston Parkway East
281-481-8770
sagemontchurch.org/bookstore-cafe

Shrine of the Black Madonna
5309 Martin Luther King Junior
832-408-1071
facebook.com/TheShrineCulturalandEvent

The Book Scene
1820 West 43rd
713-869-6117
thebookscene.xyz

The LIFT
365 West 19th
713-868-5438
thelifton19th.com

Tomfoolery Toys & Books
4844 Beechnut
832-879-2461
tomfoolerytoys.com

Winseng Books & Gifts
9112 Bellaire Boulevard
713-271-8186
winseng.com

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