A Guide to the Best Local, Independent, and Used Bookstores in San Antonio

best independent used bookstores san antonio

Confession: I’m a book nerd.

For me, there’s nothing better than stumbling upon a great new book.

Well, except for stumbling upon that book at one of San Antonio’s many fantastic bookstores!

So the next time you’re in the market for a read, skip the Amazons of the world and shop at any of these awesome independent and used bookstores that are local to San Antonio.

Map of the Best Bookstores in San Antonio

Nine Lives Books

Nine Lives is, hands down, my favorite used book store in all of San Antonio.

They actually used to run a cat rescue out of the book store (hence their name), but the city shut that down. Sadly, you won’t find any cute kitties in the store today, but you’ll definitely find a huge variety of used books, toys, records, DVDs, and (for folks born before the year 2000) videotapes.

My nieces love reading, so I swing by Nine Lives a few times a year to pick up Christmas and birthday gifts. Their young adult and kids sections are actually pretty good!

P.S. Nine Lives does have a donation jar for rescue kitties. I always drop my change in the jar, so if you have any, help a kitty out!

  • Address: 7959 Fredericksburg Rd Ste 119, San Antonio, TX 78229
  • Website: Nine Lives Books

Antiquarian Book Mart

Looking for something more collectible? You’ll find some hidden gems at the Antiquarian Book Mart, located in the Broadway corridor. It’s only open from 10 am – 3 pm Monday through Saturday (closed Sundays), but this quirky store is always a fun visit.

For starters, you’ll have no problem spotting the book mart: it has a giant graffiti mural on the front of the store.

The Antiquarian Book Mart has been around since 1971 and it was originally founded by veterans. Today, it’s a little dated, but it has that distinct “old book smell” that’s irresistible. You can find a lot of great history books here, as well as leatherbound volumes.

Cheever Books

Cheever Books is situated in a charming little building that’s just down the street from the Witte Museum. It’s a small and cluttered shop, but that’s the beauty of it. I have literally gotten lost in its various annexes and rooms.

Cheever also has squishy chairs and sofas if you want to do a bit of reading. With stacks upon stacks of books in this place, it’s easy to burn an hour and not even realize it. It has a pretty big collection of New Age, science fiction, history, children’s, and other genres available for a small business.

Cheever Books will also buy your old or rare books. If you’re trying to offload a rare book collection, stop by and see if Cheever will give you a good price!

  • Address: 3613 Broadway, San Antonio, TX 78209
  • Website: Cheever Books

Dead Tree Books

Yeah, it might seem a touch sketchy on the outside, but the inside of Dead tree Books is inviting and well-lit. Aside from having arguably the most clever name EVER for a book store, Dead Tree Books is a hole in the wall that’s well worth a visit.

They tend to have more modern, up-to-date books than places like Cheever or Antiquarian. So, if you’re looking for your next good read and don’t want to support Amazon, Dead Tree Books will probably have what you’re looking for. They literally have stacks of books piled up on the ends of each row, so you won’t find yourself wanting for variety, my friend.

They also sell little knickknacks like wax melts and soaps, if that’s your thing.

P.S. They’re closed on Tuesdays, so check their hours before you make the trip.

  • Address: 2815 W Southcross Blvd Ste. 3, San Antonio, TX 78211
  • Website: Dead Tree Books

The Twig Book Shop

I’m not gonna lie, guys: The Twig is the bougiest used book shop I’ve ever visited. They’re situated in the Pearl, which is a very nice area of San Antonio with lots of foot traffic. Located just around the corner from Bakery Lorraine and Cured, I’ve stopped into The Twig to escape the San Antonio heat more times than I can count.

It’s a clean, well-kept book shop. But because of where it’s located, it’s going to have higher prices. Yes, the books are all modern and in good condition, so if you want to pick up your next read, The Twig is still worth a visit.

Now, are you going to find cheap books or hidden gems here? Eh, probably not. But it’s still a fun place to hang out, pick up some decor or knickknacks, and find a good book to read.

Crazy Lady Used Books & Emporium

Okay, I lied. Crazy Lady has the best name for a used book store. This book store is technically in Schertz (outside of San Antonio city limits), but it’s such a weird and wonderful place that I had to include it.

Crazy Lady is a book store that also sells antiques. I’m a sucker for old-timey goods, so if you like window shopping for antiques, this is a great stop. Crazy Lady has shelves and shelves of books (and when they run out of shelves, they have boxes and boxes of books on the floor).

You won’t find new books here, but if you’re looking for something a bit older or antique, Crazy Lady might have it.

By the way, Crazy Lady is across the street from Veterans Park. If the weather is nice, you can read your books from Crazy Lady on a bench overlooking the park and water. Make a day of it by picking up coffee at Americana Coffee Bar just down the road; I promise it’s worth your time.

Book Cellar

If you’re looking for a used book store in downtown San Antonio, look no further than the Book Cellar.

It’s actually a non-profit book store operated by the Friends of The San Antonio Public Library. (You’ll find this book shop in the basement of the Central Library, and it’s only open on Fridays and Saturdays from 11 am – 4 pm.)

The Book Cellar has a mix of brand-new and used books. It’s a better stop if you’re in the market for modern books, kids’ books, and more.

  • Address: Basement, 600 Soledad St, San Antonio, TX 78205
  • Website: Book Cellar

Nowhere Bookshop

I swear, all of San Antonio’s best book shops are located off of Broadway.

Nowhere is a quirky, clean, and modern used book store and I adore it. It’s more spacious and better organized than some of the other used book stores in San Antonio, so I really love shopping here.

By the way, it’s just around the corner from The Winchester bar if you want to grab a decent beer afterward!

Oh, and if you love romance novels, Nowhere runs “The Happy Endings Book Club” (I swear I’m not making this up).

P.S. Nowhere only accepts credit cards as payment, so leave your cash at home.