One of the best places to find out about the heart and soul of a city you’re in is a local bookstore. I really love to read and when traveling, I love searching for locally-owned bookstores. Fortunately for visitors to Dallas-Fort Worth who share my passion, there are plenty of places to pursue their reading habits and retreat to the written word. Whether you’re looking to add to your own library or bring home a gift for your bookworm friends, go “beyond the cover” on your next visit to DFW and check out these unique and independent shops
Deep Vellum is one of Dallas’ newest independent bookstores and is aptly named for its location in the eclectic neighborhood, Deep Ellum. The store focuses on independent and small press publishers and offers several monthly reading and writing events. The friendly and knowledgeable staff are great at recommending new authors.
Lucky Dog Books has been in business for more than 40 years. The locations have changed multiple times, but the essence is still the same — a deep and varied used book collection with a staff eager to help you track down any book you want.
3. Half Price Books (multiple locations)
What began as a used bookstore in a former Dallas laundromat in 1972 is now the premier purveyor of discounted items. Along with books, you can find used albums, CDs, movies, toys, and knick-knacks. For the ultimate Half Price experience, visit the flagship store on Northwest Highway in Dallas, where you’ll find it hard to leave without buying something.
Located in Oak Cliff, Pan African Connection specializes in African-centered books. Visitors can find subjects ranging from African history to psychology to philosophy and spirituality, as well as fiction and children’s books. It also sells African-inspired clothing, jewelry, and art, or as its motto says, “It’s the closest trip to Africa without getting on a plane.”
Dallas’ Rosedale Rare Books, located in Snider Plaza near Southern Methodist University, opened in 2006 and remains the city’s only antiquarian bookstore. It specializes in out-of-print and first-edition history and literature books with an inventory encompassing 700 years. It also features books on Texana, theology, the military, and hunting and sporting.
Located in Oak Cliff’s hip Bishop Arts district, The Wild Detectives is half books, half cafe, and all great. Here you’ll find new releases from some of literature’s most important voices along with selections from authors beginning their careers. The cafe offers coffee, cocktails, wine, and food, and the backyard occasionally features bands and theater, like Shakespeare in the Bar.
This was my second home when I attended the University of North Texas. If I wasn’t spending money on live music, I was at Recycled Books spending it on any used book that halfway interested me. Its multi-story layout leads to discovery, with treasured items tucked into corners or found high and low on hundreds of shelves.
The Last Word bookstore is in the increasingly popular Near Southside area of Fort Worth. This 2,700-square-foot former beauty salon now houses fiction titles by authors from more than 80 countries, along with space for a gallery and literary events.
The Book Gallery in McKinney is an old book lover’s dream. For almost 20 years, it has specialized in rare and antiquarian books. Looking for a first edition of a classic? It’s probably at The Book Gallery. The owners are true bibliophiles and are glad to help you track down what’s on your unique reading list.