Texas Booksellers’ Fort Worth book show returns this weekend

Statistics show that folks started reading more during the COVID-19 pandemic. Ironically, however, some opportunities to peruse books and buy them in person were put on hold by the pandemic.

But all that is history now. Folks can both read and make their choices in person as the Texas Booksellers Association (TBA) returns to North Texas with its first Fort Worth Book & Paper Show since 2019. The event will take place this weekend (Saturday and Sunday Aug. 27-28) at the Masonic Temple, 1100 Henderson St. in Fort Worth.

Two dozen independent booksellers from Texas, Louisiana and Tennessee will exhibit at the show. The TCU Press is also an exhibitor. The show will be open from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Aug. 27 and 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Aug. 28. Admission is $5.

“Shows are a useful way to meet the public, since many booksellers no longer have a brick and mortar presence,” said TBA President Michael Utt, who is also a seller of rare books in Fort Worth. “And for readers, there’s no substitute for being able to put your hands on a book and turn the pages.”

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The Texas Booksellers Association is a group of independent booksellers and other book-related businesses focused in Texas. Their primary goal is to join together and represent local booksellers and supporters of the book community in their efforts to cultivate interest in literature and book-collecting. They sponsor book shows in Fort Worth, Austin and Houston each year.

The books are mainly pre-owned, except for TCU Press, which will sell new books. An archivist from the Tarrant County College District Archives will also be on hand.

Merchants will accept cash and credit cards, and cards may also be used to pay for admission. The Masonic Temple is accessible to people with disabilities.

Not only are booksellers excited about this year’s show, they’ve already announced that the 2023 show will be held at the same location, also on the final weekend of August. Since the TBA began running the annual event in 2001, it has been in Fort Worth every year except for one in Arlington and three in Irving.

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“Our booksellers will have something for everybody,” Utt said. “Everything from first edition rare, to children’s books, Texana, cookbooks, fine arts, history, and military.”

Exhibitors at the Fort Worth Book & Paper Show include Book Collector, Inc.; The KWH Collection; 12th Street Books; Grayshelf Books; Texas Star Books; Rosewood Books; First Folio; Elena Gallego Rare Books LLC; Rio Bound Books; E6 Books; Gilbert Trading Co.; Tarrant County College District Archives; Langdon Manor Books, LLC; Good Books in the Woods; InkQ Rare Books & Collectibles; Hayden & Fandetta Rare Books; Craig Hokenson Bookseller; Great American Cattle Co.-Books and Art; Albert L. Peters Bookseller; JMT Collectibles LLC; Bob Lakin Books; TCU Press; and Southern Historical Antiques.