Independent Bookshops in Fort Worth

Pictured: Back Door Books

by Sheila Ellis

If you’re a bookworm, chances are you shudder every time another bookstore, well, shutters. Thankfully there are still a few eclectic little bookstores in town worth checking out. 

Back Door Books
Look out for this secluded store on Throckmorton Street — it’s home to one local man’s fascinating, ever-growing collection. Category markers like “womyn” are the only things separating haphazard stacks of used and rare titles. You’ll run across a wide variety of books here, ranging from military, science and philosophy to a few fiction and children’s titles thrown upstairs for good measure. Ask nicely, and you might get to hear some of owner Brian Perkin’s famed stories.
901 1/2 Throckmorton St.
Open Mon.-Fri. 11 a.m.-3 p.m., Sat. 11 a.m.-4 p.m.

Half Price Book Barn
Half Price Book Barn (no, not like that other half-price Texan bookshop) is off the beaten path. Maybe that’s why, despite being in business for 50 years, you’ve never heard of it. However, with five signs outside proudly displaying “books,” there’s no way to miss it when you look. This bookshop is a hotspot for second-hand titles including fiction, non-fiction, and religious resources. With lots of texts to explore, and a program that ships books to inmates, this place deserves a visit.
321 Hemphill St.
Open Tue.-Fri. 10:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m.

The Dock Bookshop
Don’t let the modest storefront fool you — the Dock Bookshop has grown to be one of the largest African-American owned bookshops in the Southwest. It works to showcase independent publishers and black authors while also providing jewelry, vinyl, journals, handmade soaps and more. They’re also one of the more community-focused stores on our list, boasting open mic nights, guest panels, author signings and book clubs. With 10 years behind it, the Dock Bookshop is a Fort Worth staple that’s here to stay.
6637 Meadowbrook Dr.
Open Tue.-Thu. 1-8 p.m, Fri.-Sat. 11 a.m.-8 p.m., Sun. 1-5 p.m.

Monkey and Dog Books
Whether you’re scrambling to find a book that stands out at the next baby shower, just perusing, or coming with a kid in tow, Monkey and Dog Books will leave you in wonder for the rest of the day. This quaint bookshop is everything you wanted as a child wandering through the bland aisles of big-box bookstores. Featuring poetry, local Texas titles, series, non-fiction and more, there’s a lot to love in this bright shop. Plus, there are occasional book signings, weekly storytimes, and always a comfy spot to curl up.
3637 W. Vickery Blvd.
Open Mon.-Fri. 10 a.m.-5 p.m., Sat. 10 a.m.-2 p.m.

Leaves Book and Tea Shop (coming in August)
A cozy addition to the list, Leaves Book and Tea Shop is a prime spot for thought-provoking discussion. Or at least it will be when it opens this August. Featuring titles that will delve into current issues from a variety of perspectives, Leaves promises to be a place of community learning and connection. In another change of pace, this charming spot will ditch coffee in favor of tea lattes, sparkling tea on tap, as well as pots to share and flights to sample.
120 St. Louis Ave., Ste. 101

HK Books Online
Local support doesn’t begin and end with brick and mortar. There are plenty of Fort Worth-based online retailers to check out, too. HK Books Online specializes in rare, out-of-print and used titles. Browse the available merch under categories like “hypnotism” and “circus” to find your next time-killer. If you can’t find what you want among the online titles, shoot the owners an email, and they’ll help you on your quest.
[email protected]

The Book Collector
This carefully cultivated online stash is the ultimate home of hard-to-find books on anthropology, chess and American literature. It currently has a signed copy of Poor White by Sherwood Alexander and a book dated to the 16th century by Jesuit missionary José de Acosta. With over 1,000 books of a similar caliber to skim through, plan on settling in for the night with a cup of coffee and your scrolling fingers ready.
[email protected]

Texas Star Books
History buffs and lovers of Texas will find titles to suit their tastes at this online retailer. This collection, begun by native couple Gary and Sue Fox, expanded to become a large resource for books covering everything from World War II to the cattle industry. Among the specialized categories are books over women’s studies, theater and some less interesting states like Oklahoma and New Mexico. If navigating the web is too much of a hassle, you can also find a portion of the store’s collection at Montgomery Street Antique Mall.
2601 Montgomery St.
[email protected]