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Texas Bookstores Celebrate Their Independence – And Resilience

Michael Femia/Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)
BookPeople in Austin.

From Texas Standard:

It's not unheard of for an obituary to be published by mistake. A few years ago, put up an obit for actor Kirk Douglas, who – at 100 – is still alive.

Something similar happened to Dallas-based Half Price Books chain, Austin’s BookPeople and independent bookstores across the country when the first e-reader made its debut. The death knell never rang so loud.

But it turns out bookstores aren't dead after all, at least not some of the best-known ones in Texas.


This weekend, several independent booksellers across Texas are celebrating the fact they've survived the e-book trend, and thanking the people who keep the shops going. Texas Independent Bookstore Day – an idea BookPeople Director of Marketing Abby Fennewald says began with CEO Steve Bercu years ago – kicks off its inaugural event Saturday.

With Half Price Books achieving sales of $260 million last year, BookPeople experiencing growth and more small bookstores popping up around the state, Fennewald is optimistic about the future. Because of their adaptability, Fennewald says independent bookstores can remain successful.

Written by Louise Rodriguez.

Rhonda joined KUT in late 2013 as producer for the station's new daily news program, Texas Standard. Rhonda will forever be known as the answer to the trivia question, “Who was the first full-time hire for The Texas Standard?” She’s an Iowa native who got her start in public radio at WFSU in Tallahassee, while getting her Master's Degree in Library Science at Florida State University. Prior to joining KUT and The Texas Standard, Rhonda was a producer for Wisconsin Public Radio.
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