UPDATED JULY 2018!
There are so many ways to get your reading fix these days, via online news and blogs, downloading favorites to a tablet or browsing paper books and magazines. Book lovers have watched many of our beloved brick-and-mortar stores fade away as more content became electronic.
And there’s still the fact that new books (especially hard-cover) are rather costly. If you are in the mood for the well-loved book browsing experience, here are a few bookstores in DFW that are still open, thriving and have a lot to offer!
Bonus Fun Stuff:Little Known Facts about DFW Zoos and Aquariums.
Back Door Books in Fort Worth
Longtime locals know Back Door used to be called Barber’s Books back in the day, a literary institution for Fort Worth since 1925. Back Door is almost the speak-easy of the book store world: bring cash or check only, expect to rifle through stacks and piles, and there’s not much fiction. They focus on rare and “uncommon or unusual” books, offering the browser a labyrinth of collections that include military and Texana, even sheet music and artwork. This kind of unique bookseller is a can’t-miss when looking for something hand-picked.
Your Local Library
Did you know that one of the best places to buy a used book is your local library? Libraries keep tons of books in rotation but whenever they get too many copies of a book or need to make room for new editions, they sell portions of their inventory? In Plano, the Haggard Library always has a selection of books, CDs and magazines on sale in the lobby. The prices range from 25 cents to two dollars per item. It’s hard to beat those prices! If you love reading new material at your own pace but don’t want to pay retail prices, this is the perfect solution for you!
BONUS: They also put on classes and workshops for the community on a monthly basis. You can learn how to speak Chinese, how to knit, writing skills, Photoshop techniques or how to play Mah Jongg.
Lucky Dog Books
This place sells “recycled” books, movies and music (think CDs, vinyl, even 8-tracks!). You can pay for up to 50% of your store purchases by bringing in items to trade with this bookseller. If you don’t want store credit, you can cash out instead. You can also get $5 off if you sign up for their mailing list or start a store account for store credit.
Lucky Dog has three locations (East Dallas, Mesquite and now Oak Cliff) and offers a variety of writing classes, open mic opportunities, guitar lessons, workshops, book club and even a yoga class. This is the ideal shop for those who enjoy a community atmosphere.
Lisle Used and Rare Books
If you are looking for used children’s books, this place is a gold mine! Books for the kiddos start as low as $1.25. They’ve got over 500 Little Golden Book series items for children and their parents to choose from. They also sell a selection of rare books, signed art, sports items and comics. If you love Glen Campbell, you should snag their 1975 original L.P. record of his album “Rhinestone Cowboy” for your music selection before some other music lover does! One of the quirky perks of this store is their collection of garden gnomes and statues for the yard. From puppies and snowmen to Winston Churchill, you’re sure to find something unique and antique to place near your roses or in your windowsill.
Half Price Books
You’ve probably seen these scattered all over the metroplex but it’s worth mentioning. They’ve got a large selection of stationary, games, vinyl records, gadgets and gizmos for your desk. Aside from buying and selling recycled books and DVDs, each location offers its own unique programs and events. The Half Price Books gives away children’s books to educators and non-profit organizations. They also host the “Feed your Brain” summer reading program for students from preschool age to high school. Students in the 8th grade or under are encouraged to keep a reading log while high schoolers are asked to write up short reviews about the books they’ve read. The great thing about Half Price Books is that you can shop online if you don’t feel like getting out of the house.
Recycled Books in Denton
A modest storefront in the downtown square of Denton, Recycled Books boasts 17,000 square feet of labyrinth racks that hold half a million books at any given time. The floor creaks, it smells a bit musty and you should watch your step, but if you have three hours or three days to immerse yourself into literary heaven on the cheap, this is the place. Ample street parking most times, too. I like to collect Little Golden Books and Recycled is where I found this 1950 gem:
While not exactly offering used books, Book Warehouse might do us one even better: brand-new books regularly sold at a steep discount! There are three locations in the metroplex: Fort Worth, Grand Prairie and Allen. Join their BookCase Club and get a mystery box of books delivered to your door every month for about $10 plus cost of shipping. The ultimate unboxing for bookworms!
Where do you go to pick up a few books on the cheap?