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Bookstores like you read about

In these days of big-box and online everything, it’s nice to stroll into a locally owned, independent bookstore and browse the stacks. It’s a virtual treasure hunt for dedicated bibliophiles. For voracious readers, book browsers or curious souls, these three unique Houston bookstores will delight with unique finds and personalized service.

Brazos Bookstore, 2421 Bissonette St., Houston, between Kirby and Greenbriar/Shepherd. 713-523-0701; Brazos@Brazosbookstore.com. Hours: 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Saturday; noon to 6 p.m. Sunday.

Larry McMurtry, Edward Albee and Donald Barthelme can’t be wrong. All were regular customers at Brazos, which has been open since 1974, and was since bought by 27 Houstonians when founder Karl Kilian retired. With many area arts and literature partnerships, the shop is a hotspot for readers, writers and everyone in between. In addition to literature, non-fiction, art and architecture monographs and children’s books, Brazos hosts a slew of events, as well, such as book clubs, readings and story times.

“Great staff, brilliant selections of books and local authors and weekly readings and meet-and- greets of up-and-coming writers.” – Carrie H., via Yelp.

Kaboom Books, 3116 Houston Ave., Houston, in Woodland Heights. 713-869-7600; whambozambor@kaboombooks.com. Hours: Noon to 8 p.m. Monday through Saturday; Noon to 6 p.m. on Sundays.

Kaboom is a used bookstore with about 100,000 books in 76 or so different sections of the store. The owner had several bookstores in New Orleans, La., eventually packing up and moving to Houston. In its sky-high stacks you will find current books, out-of-print books, and everything in-between. Book sellers and book hoarders can know that they can buy, sell or trade titles here. Kaboom is also a gathering place for “social discourse,” according to its website. Kaboom Books was named Best Bookstore by the Houston Press in 2015.

“Floor to ceiling with books and such a great selection … The books are extremely well priced, and I walked out with three books I can’t wait to read for less than $20.” – Alexis B., via Yelp.

The Lift, 365 W. 19th St., Houston. 713-868-LIFT; info@thelifton19th.com. Hours: 10:45 a.m. to 7:15 p.m., Monday through Friday; 10 a.m. to 7:15 p.m. Saturdays; and 11:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sundays.

The Lift is a bookstore with a bonus boutique, offering literary selections alongside jewelry, gifts, home décor, wall hangings, toys, tote bags, socks, organic soaps and more. Current bestsellers in fiction, non-fiction, children’s young adult and books of local interest can be found here, alongside cookbooks, journals and more. A small shop, but don’t judge a book by its cover. The Lift packs a lot of whimsical, funky items into a small space.

“I always enjoy visiting and have always found the perfect gift for any occasion. If you haven’t visited The Lift, you’re definitely missing out on something good.” – Andre D., via Yelp.

So when looking for unique, local bookstores for serious browsing and buying, give these three a try. They are full of character you just can’t find while book shopping online.

Susan Shalhoub |PlumEditorial.com

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