BookPeople is one of those Austin institutions that everyone should visit at least once. We here at Free Fun in Austin love BookPeople so much that we’re putting it first in our new series of Austin places you need to know. In a world of Amazon Prime and Barnes & Noble, it feels refreshing to support a locally owned independent bookstore, especially one with such character and charm.
BookPeople has something for everyone and you could probably spend an entire day there. Need to get a gift for someone but have no idea what to get? BookPeople has gifts galore, and things you’ve never seen anywhere else–Austin gifts, cactus gifts, gifts for cat-lovers, even unicorn head masks. There’s a cafe, a huge children’s section, and even an old-timey barber chair (which makes for great photo-ops).
We went to many story times at BookPeople when we first moved to Austin and my boys were younger. We recently went back again, this time to pick up the third Harry Potter book since my oldest had just finished the second one and couldn’t wait to read the third. A story time had just finished, and seeing all the moms with their toddlers and babies there brought me back! Check the website’s events page for information on story times.
We wandered around the children’s area for a while, and my boys still giggled while chasing each other around the tunnel. Once we found the chapter books and got The Prisoner of Azkaban, I told my youngest he could pick out a book as well. He decided to go with the hilarious Dragons Love Tacos (I highly recommend it if you haven’t read it yet). I found a cute little book of daily quotes to give to a friend of mine, and then we set off to find the barber chair.
The barber chair sits near the restrooms and is a perfect place to take a random picture. My kids love it. We ended up reading Dragons Love Tacos in the barber chair, too. We love that chair.
We walked around and found some quirky gifts, and my boys couldn’t resist trying on horse and bird masks (they had unicorns, as well). After saying “no” to the thousands of requests I got to purchase toys, we finally made our way to the registers.
If you have time to stay for a while, the cafe serves coffee, sodas, sandwiches, and treats (with vegan and gluten-free options available).
Ausinites love to “Keep Austin Weird” and a visit to BookPeople fits that bill perfectly! Check their website for interesting (and usually free!) events, like visits from authors. You can also keep your kids reading all summer long through their Summer Reading Program. BookPeople is open daily from 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m.
603 N Lamar Blvd
Austin, TX 78703