Read It Local, Pump Up Your Volumes

Local bookmongers offer curbside pick-up & delivery

Got a lot of reading time, lately, when you’re not struggling to survive this mess we’re in?

Well, FFS, citizen – stop reading this and stick your gob into the pages of a good, compelling narrative. Via yet another screen (Kindle or whatever), if you have to … but, for full sensory joy, try an actual book.

But where are you gonna get that right now, if you’ve already (somehow) exhausted your own personal library?

It’s not like you can just go strolling among the shelves of Austin’s BookPeople or HalfPrice Books, as you did in those wildly paradisical times of just-two-weeks-ago, right?


Well, no, no, you are right: The physical locations of those local behemoths of literary excellence are closed.


HalfPrice Books


I mean: You’re possibly needing some books right now – and if you can afford them, you can buy them locally – and they’re definitely needing your money to stay, barely, afloat.

So check out those beloved stores online. Place an order, make a call, get you something glorious in an oldschool format that you can feel the smooth pages of as you turn them, that will transport you, however briefly, to a different time, a different place, maybe somewhere you have never traveled.

But – hold on just a little second.

You think that, now I’ve got your attention with some local-promo news, I’m just gonna let you go without foisting my own personal recommendations in your eyes?


So I’ve got three specific suggestions here, to make sure your booktime will be, oh, hella enjoyable:

1. Try tracking down Fever Chart by Bill Cotter, and find out what happens to a hapless, de-institutionalized schmuck who’s making his way through the streets of New Orleans with a disposable diaper on his lacerated and bleeding hand and a romantic goal a-throb in his yearning heart.

2. See if you can score This One Summer by Mariko and Jillian Tamaki, a coming-of-age graphic novel about two pre-teen girls in a small beach town, the sort of book that’ll remind you of what revelations and joys and dangers life was suffused with before adulthood’s responsibilities jaded you with routine.

3. Oh, damnit, you can probably get the abovementioned two books from our local bricks-and-mortars today, as is the point of this post; but you might have to order this final one directly from Instar Books: It’s Invasions, a recent collection of short stories by Calvin Gimpelevich, a mix of sharp evocations of modern life and relationships and basic fucked-up human existence. These tales, oh, these tales are straight, and they’re queer, and they’re just … so … relatable.

Now – good reading to you, friend. Also: Hang tough and Hail Eris!

[Ed. Note: Hrrrrm. Seems this literary lifeline is no longer in effect, due to the new shelter-in-place restrictions. Harsh times we've got here now.]

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for almost 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

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