Apr 29, 2022 - Things to Do

The North Texas indie bookstore boom

The front of a bookstore

Interabang Books, one of the most popular independent bookstores in Dallas. Photo courtesy of Interabang Books

North Texas is in the midst of an independent bookstore renaissance.

Why it matters: Independent bookstores have become gathering places for the like-minded, and an avenue for communities to support arts and culture.

  • "Having a bookstore in your neighborhood is a fantastic selling point," Interabang manager Brian Weiskopf tells Axios. "It's better than having a Trader Joe's."

Driving the news: Saturday is Independent Bookstore Day. Several indie bookstores have special sales and events, including in-store author appearances and workshops.

By the numbers: The year before Amazon opened its online bookstore, the American Booksellers Association reported 5,500 bookstores with 7,000 locations, according to Publisher's Weekly.

  • At the end of the Great Recession in 2009, there 1,401 stores with 1,651 locations.
  • Those numbers are slowly coming back up. Last year the ABA reported 1,701 stores with nearly 2,100 locations.

What they're saying: "People are interested in a well-curated bookstore. Something that's hand-picked and well-chosen," Weiskopf says.

  • "You can spend five hours in a big-box bookstore and not find what you're looking for and you can spend a few minutes in an independent bookstore and walk out with six books."

Reality check: "We're in a moment of growth, but I want to be in a bookstore and then be able to walk to another bookstore," Deep Vellum manager Riley Rennhack tells Axios. "As booksellers, we do something that an algorithm can't do."


Get more local stories in your inbox with Axios Dallas.


Support local journalism by becoming a member.

Learn more

More Dallas stories

No stories could be found


Get a free daily digest of the most important news in your backyard with Axios Dallas.


Support local journalism by becoming a member.

Learn more