Tyler’s Book Barn

by admin on September 15, 2009

in Book Stores

Well, I mistakenly believed that I had written about all the bookstores in Tyler; that is until I was told about the Book Barn. So out of a desire to do justice to all the small local booksellers I paid the passed over store a visit.

The Book Barn advertises as a used bookstore with new bookstore atmosphere. While I would love to say that the establishment lives up to its mantra, it just doesn’t. I walked through the store and found that nearly the entire inventory was composed of paperbacks which could be found in an airport newsstand. They carried the usual thrillers and tech novels, and of course the ever present romance novels, but the history section was pathetically thin. If cookbooks and self help books are what you’re after, than sure, this may be the place, for you, but you may need to look elsewhere for classic literature, especially if you want a hardcover.

If you’ve read my review of Pea Picker Books, (which can be found under the Tyler blog section of this site), you’d know I’m not a huge fan of that particular store, but at least their huge volume makes it worth checking out. You may even discover some hard to find selections there. Unfortunately, Book Barn’s selection is very small. There are an awful lot of gaps on the shelves, and what they carry is mostly mainstream and easily found elsewhere. The store has yet to find its own niche in Tyler’s already crowded market.

The fact is, there is more to owning a used bookstore than just loving books and having a big library. Book Barn needs to offer something readers can’t find at other area establishments besides promising a lower price. There are plenty of other options offering the same advantage with a better selection. And the atmosphere is not a big enough draw to pick up the slack.

On a scale of one to five I’m forced to give the Book Barn a two. I’d love rate the store higher out of a desire to help a local bookseller, but I just wasn’t that impressed with the selection. For those who are still interested they are located on South Broadway in the French Quarter around the corner from China King. Perhaps other readers will have better luck finding what they are looking for than I did.

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