Monday, September 26, 2011

10 Cool Things: Blue Willow Bookshop

Blue Willow Bookshop--A Houston Landmark
Sell like a champion!
To celebrate this, our 100th blog post, we're starting a new, semi-regular series profiling the booksellers and stores that make the world of independent bookselling great.  We're starting with Blue Willow Bookshop, located at the corner of Memorial and Dairy Ashford in West Houston.  Blue Willow proves that small bookstores can thrive, and owner Valerie Koehler is well known and respected in the bookselling world and among Houston retailers.  Blue Willow Bookshop is well worth a visit while in Houston.

10 Cool Things About Blue Willow Bookshop

1. Fantastic Author events.  Every visiting author signs the wall.  Hooray for literary graffiti!

2. Wonderful website and blog.

3. They have a suspicious off-site storage area that employees have been trapped in which really intrigues us. This may actually not be true but we like the drama idea of it.

Reading Groups Shop Here.

4. Great book club selection - you're in a book group? This is your store. No one knows book groups like the Blue Willow staff.

5. Insanely good kids and young adult shopping.  [Children are 3 for $1 after each story time, and according to Jonathan Swift, make great eating.  What?  Like you can tell me what the "meat" is in a tamale?]

6. Staff is widely read - and will actually be honest with you about books.

7. Staff is funny as hell...and seem to look past the fact that we are really strange.  [...I'm strange?]

8. Pretension-free zone.  You want a book with a pink dust jacket?  You got it. 

9. We love the wall quotes from books.  

10. We can sum up my love for Blue Willow in one word: Alice. We gots a major crush on Alice and we don't care who knows it!

That's Alice in action on the right.  Ahhh....Alice.


  1. Really, you like her better than me. I'm sending the picture of the quote to the author, now studying (or so he says) in Stillwater.

  2. Awwwwwww! You guys are too sweet. (I guess this means you got the check I sent....) -A.

  3. just trying to make you gals fight is all....

  4. Alice: reads Booker Prize nominees.
    Valerie: reads Velma the Vomiting Vulture.
    Obviously I love you both, but I can't admit to my Koehler Krush formally because, you know, the vulture vomit.

    1. Hi!

      Upon google searching a book I read as a child, "Velma the Vomiting Vulture," I came across your above post. Anyway you could email me back, and perhaps help me figure out a way to get a copy? It's proven very difficult! Thank you for your Web site, as it has provided a clue to me uncovering this childhood memory.


    2. I've only ever seen this book at Blue Willow Bookshop in Houston. I recommend reaching out to the store to talk to Valerie Koehler, the owner, who showed the book to me. She might have a lead on finding a copy. Good luck.

  5. Just letting you guys know that this made my day today. The post, and the comments. When things get too 'New York-ish' here in New York, I love getting a dose of (affectionate) reality from 'out there' -- it's especially nice when that reality is shared. Thanks. I need to get back to Texas sometime soon.

  6. Very cool. I too need to get back to TX before i go crazy.