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Recycled Reads become Holiday Must have Gifts!

POSTED BY marika ON October 26, 2011

An Undiscovered Austin Book Jewel: Recycled Reads

by Marika Flatt

I was invited to speak on a panel for the
Writers League of Texas to discuss book publicity and promotion for their Third Thursday series. The normal location, BookPeople, was occupied due to the Texas Book Festival so the meeting was relocated to a used bookstore called Recycled Reads. I’d never heard of it before, which is strange because they’ve been open almost three years, and when I arrived, I realized it’s in a strip center next door to the coffeeshop where PR by the Book frequently has our monthly team meetings (fun discovery #1).

I walked in and was greeted by the manager, Mindy Reed, who I’ve known for years through the WLT. She’s the owner of the Author’s Assistant and she and I have crossed paths multiple times in the past 14 years I’ve been in the book biz in Austin (fun discovery #2).

She proceeded to give myself and my fellow panelist, Jennifer Hill Robenalt, a tour of the shop and explained to us that the books come from the “weeding out” process of the Austin Public Library System (every so often, libraries go through their stacks and remove books that don’t get checked out or are too worn) and from personal donations from people who have done their Spring cleaning, etc. They are a “zero landfill” nonprofit, meaning they don’t send any materials to the landfill. Living in Austin, we LOVE this!  So, they are really out to move these books. So much so that they are practically giving them away! Hardbacks are $2, paperbacks are $1 and most of the children’s books are 50 cents! A steal!

But, my favorite thing about this store is that they “up-cycle” too, which means they create other pieces of art from recycled books, records (as in vinyl) and other items. First of all, you should know that I’m a jewelry hound. I adore jewelry, especially jewelry that is quirky and isn’t expensive. They had necklaces made from pages of old books; necklaces made from pieces of records; and even an old storybook turned into a Kindle case! I was in heaven! (fun discovery #3)

I quickly scooped up one of the book page necklaces for myself, a necklace featuring the vinyl record broken into pieces looking like guitar picks for my sis-in-law and a keychain with a piece of a broken record of Cindy Walker for my father-in-law, among other items. And, oh, I also grabbed a book for each of my kids so I wouldn’t come home empty-handed. What a great place to do some holiday shopping for some cool items with personality!

One thing to be aware of, however, is their limited store hours (because they are run largely by volunteers) so you need to shop Thursday –Sunday, between the hours of noon to 6pm. And, know that ALL PROCEEDS go towards the Austin Public Library system (another reason to love them!) I hope you find some exciting treasures like I did and then you’ll agree that Recycled Reads is the new favorite used bookshop in Austin.
5335 Burnet Road
Austin, TX 78756
(512) 323-5123

Marika Flatt, lover of books and jewelry, is founder of PR by the Book.

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