5 of the Best Bookstores in Houston

As the fourth largest city in the United States, Houston, Texas, has a literary culture just as expansive, offering a plethora of charming and diverse bookstores to explore. If you live in Houston or find yourself there anytime soon, we’ve highlighted some of the best bookstores to captivate your bibliophile heart. From independent gems with cozy atmospheres to sprawling stores with extensive selections, these bookstores provide a Houston haven for literary enthusiasts to browse, discover, and immerse themselves in the world of books.


Becker’s Books

Becker’s Books is everything you imagine a neighborhood bookshop to be—but in a renovated house. Becker’s has been in business since 1988, with two generations of family running the store, and  3500 square feet of used books to get lost in. Dive into their massive inventory to find rare and out-of-print books or familiar favorites. 


Blue Willow Bookshop 

With a charming blue and white storefront, this quaint West Houston bookstore looks like it was lifted from the streets of Paris. But, Blue Willow Bookshop is not just a cute face. In 2020 it was named Publisher’s Weekly’s Bookstore of the Year. Before it became Blue Willow in 1996, it was Musabelle’s Books. Owner Valerie Koehler bought the bookstore from Musabelle herself when she retired, allowing the store to stay alive and thriving. 


Brazos Bookstore

It’s no secret that Houstonians adore Brazos. Opened in 1974, it serves as a hub for enthusiastic, creative, and intelligent readers in the area. In addition to keeping a beautifully curated stock of new and backlist titles, Brazos partners with local universities and even national organizations to produce and promote literary events. In a true example of community adoration, when the founder, Karl Kilian, was ready to retire in 2006, a group of 27 faithful customers came together to purchase the bookstore and keep its mission alive. 


Kaboom Books

Located at the edge of the Woodland Heights neighborhood, Kaboom Books carries all the used books your heart could desire. Filled with lush indoor plants, towering bookshelves containing over 100,000 books, and possible cat sightings, Kaboom is the perfect place for escaping the downtown bustle. 


Murder By The Book

Mystery lovers rejoice! Murder By The Book was made with you in mind. As one of the oldest and largest mystery-focused shops in the United States, Murder By The Book has been in operation since 1980. On top of a collection of 25,000 new and used books and magazines, the store hosts over 200 events each year with some of the hottest writers in mystery, crime, and fantasy. 


The bookstores mentioned here are more than just places to purchase books; they are havens for community, imagination, and literary exploration. Each of these bookstores offers a unique experience that caters to the varied tastes and interests of Houston’s book-loving community. Whether you’re a lifelong resident or a visitor to the city, exploring these best bookstores in Houston is a delightful adventure that allows you to indulge in the joy of discovering new worlds and stories within the pages of a book.