My first big bookstore

Jaleigh’s post yesterday reminded me about my first big bookstore, the Bookstop in downtown Houston.

Before it opened in the mid/late 80s, we had a small bookstore in a nearby strip mall, and Waldenbooks and B. Dalton at the mall. The Bookstop, built in a former 1939 Art Deco movie theater, with the seats replaced by bookshelves so the whole thing was sloped downward towards one end, was huge in comparison. My brother and I loved browsing the science fiction section, which our small local store didn’t have much of.

Bookstop, by Susan Batterman on flickr
The newsstand is in front of the screen. Credit: Susan Batterman on flickr

I had to google the store to remember the name, and learned that it closed in 2009 after about 25 years, and reopened as a larger Barnes & Noble in a different location.

I commented yesterday that bookstores will probably always be around, but smaller. Our Borders closed (the building is now a liquor store), so we have a B&N and a used book store downtown. Possibly a few other smaller used book stores that I don’t know about.

Of course, since most of the books I buy these days are ebooks, from stores with larger selections than I could have imagined back then, I shouldn’t complain too much. I want bookstores to stick around for browsing, writing in the coffee shop, and so I can see a book with my name on it on the shelf someday. But I don’t actually buy books there anywhere near as much as I used to. The girl who went to the movie theater bookstore for the first time would be shocked.

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4 Comments

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4 responses to “My first big bookstore

  1. pbrewer

    There are two good used bookstores in town—Jane Addams in downtown Champaign and Priceless Books in downtown Urbana. There’s a third, on Mattis just south of John Street, called Say3 Books, which is also worth visiting, especially if you’re looking to pick up last year’s beach reading. And, of course, the Champaign Library has their Friends Shop.

  2. Kelly Swails

    That’s the coolest bookstore I’ve ever seen.

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