Book Store Feature: Becker’s Books

This month our book store feature is Becker’s Books, a bit of a hidden treasure located local to me here in Houston, TX. Founded in 1988 by Dan and Ann Becker, a married couple who turned a leisure hobby into an income. After purchasing a house in the Spring Branch area they took their massive personal collection and filled it. Housing a wide array of used as well as rare books, this is a shop to get lost in for hours upon hours. 

During the last year or so we have seen an uptick in closing businesses due to the pandemic but Dan and Ann accepted the challenge, they’ve had online ordering for their store since two years after opening. The online catalog is extensive, easy to use and gets updated often as new gems arrive. 


Dan agreed to a quick interview with me where I got to ask some of the tough questions: 

Q1. When did you start Becker’s Books and what was your inspiration?
I started it in 1988-1989 and opened this location in 1993. My inspiration was probably my older brother who always had a lot of books with floor to ceiling shelves and was always a big reader and I in turn always liked books also.

Q2. What’s the oldest book you’ve seen come through your shop?
I think the oldest book was 1584. After Gutenberg there were five printers in Europe, one of them was Aldus in Venice and this was done not by Aldus but by his son. So it’s about a third generation of the printed book. I have an illuminated antiphonal like the monks used to use but I think its more recent than that 1584 book even though some of those antiphonal might be from the 9th, 10th, or 12th century, this one is much newer I think. 

Q3. Who is your favorite author?
I love Evelyn Waugh, I like satire. I like Tolkien, George R R Martin, Mark Helprin. (We both agreed that there are just too many to name)

Q4. What book do you wish you could get your hands on?
Edgar Allen Poe is supposed to have written a book when he was first getting started and there were like eleven copies of it. The same for Louisa May Alcott, there are books that were written very early on when there were like ten copies and I can’t even think of the titles right now off the top of my head.


Q5. If there was one thing you would want book lovers to know about independent book stores, what would it be?
One thing I would tell them is to not be shy about coming in, I think a lot of people don’t come into stores that are in houses or independent venues because they’re so used to places in cookie cutter locales.

So there you have it! Becker’s Books should be added to your list of book shops to visit, there’s definitely something for everyone. Paperbacks for $2 all the way to manuscripts to $1000. Any and every genre you can think of. Just make sure to not have plans for after a quick visit because I guarantee you won’t be making it and the visit will not be quick.

You can find their online catalog here
They also have Facebook

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