Good second-hand bookstores and record shops in Austin TX?
April 3, 2013 6:41 AM   Subscribe

What are the best second-hand bookstores and record shops in Austin, Texas?

As already mentioned, I will be in Austin, Texas shortly. I've never been before. I'm looking for suggestions for good second-hand bookstores and record shops, similar to a previous question of mine about Washington DC. I'm basically looking for the Austin equivalent to Strand Books in NYC and Amoeba Records in SF.
posted by Grinder to Shopping (9 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
There are no equivalents, but the Half Price Books at Lamar and Koenig Lane is huge and has a decent rare books room.
posted by mattbucher at 6:55 AM on April 3, 2013 [2 favorites]

End of an Ear has great used vinyl, and is one of my favorite record stores on earth.

I like Breakaway too for used records.

(I haven't lived in Austin for 5 years, but go back to those places every time I visit).
posted by activitystory at 6:55 AM on April 3, 2013 [1 favorite]

Waterloo Records is an option.

And while looking for that I found this Vinyl Around Austin page that has information on fifteen shops around Austin.
posted by mountmccabe at 7:38 AM on April 3, 2013 [1 favorite]

The Austin Public Library opened Recycled Reads a couple of years ago. It sells books donated to the library and older materials withdrawn from the collection.

The selection can be kind of hit-or-miss, but the prices are rock bottom. I've left there with a couple of awesome finds, though. Also you're supporting the public library with your purchase - what's not to love about that?
posted by pantarei70 at 7:43 AM on April 3, 2013 [2 favorites]

Half Price is the standard. I like the one on S. Lamar best. You can find some gems tucked away at Book Exchange.*

I think End of an Ear is the closest to Amoeba/Strand.

* I admit that I wish we had something more like Powell's (PDX) or even Paperbacks Plus (DFW) here, though. I don't think we have the best options for used books.
posted by batmonkey at 8:18 AM on April 3, 2013

This is not a secondhand bookstore, but if you're a bookstore lover you need to at least go and browse BookPeople. You'll love it in there, I promise. And it's right across from Waterloo Records!
posted by sevensnowflakes at 9:30 AM on April 3, 2013

I regularly do the Half Price circuit - South Lamar, North Lamar, Parmer, and Anderson Mill - and they all have different stock and between them they make the Strand look like the single shelf in a doctor's waiting room. The North Lamar location is the biggest, and then I'd say South Lamar, but they all have a respectable selection. If you have a car, hit more than one!
posted by restless_nomad at 9:51 AM on April 3, 2013 [1 favorite]

South Congress Books is a small, but well-curated and cozy bookstore.

Austin recently lost their Cheapo, which was probably as close to Amoeba as this town has come. As noted already, End of an Ear, Waterloo Records, and Antone's Records are good bets, depending on what kind of music you like.
posted by lefty lucky cat at 9:56 AM on April 3, 2013

The definitive source for this kind of information is Evelyn C. Leeper's Bookstore Lists. Here's the link for Austin. I'll forward this page just in case there's a place not already on the list since I didn't cross-check.
posted by gdf at 3:13 PM on April 3, 2013 [1 favorite]

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