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Best indie bookstores in San Antonio offer something for everyone

Best indie bookstores in San Antonio offer something for everyone

Antiquarian Book Mart San Antonio books
Shelves lined with paperback books inside Antiquarian Book Mart. Photo by Katie Nickas

Despite the changing digital landscape, San Antonio bookstores continue to thrive across the city. Many of these stores have been in business for decades, offering customers rare new and used books that can't be found anywhere else. Here are five of San Antonio's established bookstores.

Antiquarian Book Mart
A visit to the Antiquarian Book Mart on Broadway Street is more than just a visit to a classic bookstore — it’s an experience. Owner Robert Kellel co-founded the store in 1971, and today, it shares a parking lot with Half-Priced Books on Broadway Street. The mart buys, sells, and trades a variety of books, with an emphasis on military history. Kellel passed away last April, but visitors to this shop will still come away with a good feeling of having visited a rare gem of a bookstore.
Open 10 am to 4 pm, Monday through Saturday, closed Sunday.

Cheever Books
In business for more than 30 years, Cheever Books offers a collection of used and rare books that are bought and sold at its location on Broadway Street. Visitors come from all over the world to explore the store’s unusual collection of hard and paperback book genres, from myths and folklore to science fiction, gardening, nature, history and ephemera. The store specializes in books and does not carry audiotapes or other items.
Open 10 am to 7 pm Monday through Saturday, noon to 7 pm Sunday.

Imagine Books and Records
Since opening in 2011, this used books and records store has hosted dozens of shows and featured hundreds of performers. The store also hosts full bands on a weekly basis, covering a variety of styles, as well as live poetry readings — it also publishes its own line of poetry books through Toad Press and will soon release cassettes on its own label. Imagine Books and Records also sells books through its online shop and welcomes donations through its website.
Open 11 am to 7 pm Monday through Saturday, noon to 6 pm Sunday.

Nine Lives Books
This premiere book store offers new and used merchandise, specializing in books, records, DVDs, videotapes, CDs, music audiotapes, books on CD, books on audiotape, magazines, comics, knickknacks, healing stones, and more. The store also buys merchandise from the public and gives credit toward in-store purchases or cash for select items based on the current conditions of supply and demand.
Open 10 am to 10 pm daily.

The Twig Book Shop
Currently located at 306 Pearl Parkway at the former Pearl Brewery on the Museum Reach of the River Walk, this shop is a great place for anyone looking for new releases for children and adults, award-winning classics, or just browsing for a gift. Since opening in 1972, The Twig has evolved as a venue for local and national poets and authors, making books available for book clubs, schools, and conferences. Its Texana collection makes it a destination for history lovers near and far, and programs including Friday Storytime, Costume Characters, and Miss Anastasia provide reading opportunities for children. The store also sells hardcover and softcover books on its website, as well as electronic books through Kobo, its new eReading partner. 
Open 10 am to 6 pm daily.