A beloved, sustainable Austin bookstore topped the charts for best local bookstore in Texas.
Used book shop Recycled Reads claimed the top spot on Yelp’s Texas Top 25 Local Bookstores. Austin is also the city of bookworms, with more stores on the list than any other Texas metro.
Austin had six spots on the list, Houston and Dallas both had four, while San Antonio and Fort Worth each had two. Businesses were ranked using factors including the total volume and ratings of reviews.
The best local bookstores according to Yelp:
Recycled Reads receives materials retired from the Austin Public Library system and public donations including books, CDs, LPs, DVDs, art, board games and puzzles. Most of its inventory is priced under $2 and proceeds go to benefit the public library.
A famous independent bookstore that has been serving the city since the 1970s, BookPeople has been voted the best bookstore in Austin for over 20 years and has been visited by two presidents. BookPeople and Waterloo Records were the first businesses to popularize the saying “Keep Austin Weird,” with the message of shopping local.
The woman-owned and LGBTQ+-positive place to buy your books has been serving North Lamar since 2008, but it has been open in various locations throughout Austin for 46 years.
Named after Medieval poet William Langland’s “The Vision of Piers Plowman,” Malvern Books specializes in visionary literature and independent poetry. Malvern often hosts book clubs, musical performances and poetry readings.
This tiny bookstore tucked away on South Congress specializes in used, collectible and vintage works, as the owner has been collecting for more than 30 years. This is a great spot to enjoy that signature book smell.
This Black-owned business serves a “multicultural, multi-generational, multi-socio-economic community,” and frequently highlights authors of color, hosts chess club, children’s reading time and book clubs in a cozy location in a house.
Austin is one of the top metro areas where homebuyer income saw the greatest surge during the pandemic and it came at a cost to locals.
A new analysis by real estate services firm Redfin reports that affluent out-of-towers have contributed to surging home prices in metros like Austin. Due to this trend, Redfin notes, many local buyers with lower incomes have been priced out.
“For white-collar workers earning high salaries, remote work is a huge financial boon,” said Sheharyar Bokhari, Redfin senior economist. Jobs with that flexibility, Bokhari says, enable them to move from a tech hub like San Francisco to a more affordable part of the country where they can get more home for their money and even put some toward a rainy day fund.
“It can have the opposite effect on locals in those destinations–especially renters–who are watching from the sidelines as home prices skyrocket while their income stays mostly the same,” Bokhari said.
In Austin, the median homebuyer income surged 19% from 2019 to 2021, ultimately reaching $137,000. In that time, the median home price growth was 48%, just behind Boise, Idaho which was more than 50%.
But the housing market is starting to slow. Redfin says high mortgage rates and unsustainable price growth have driven demand down. In fact, Austin is among the 20 housing markets that have cooled the fastest in the first half of this year.
“People are still moving in from California and they still have enough money to buy nice homes in desirable neighborhoods, sometimes with all cash,” said Austin Redfin agent Gabriel Recio. “But the days of homes selling for 25% over asking price with multiple offers are over. Buyers are no longer as eager now that mortgage rates are up and there’s buzz in the air about the slowing housing market.”
As a result, Recio says, local and out-of-town buyers have an opportunity to buy a home at the asking price or even under.
Redfin carried out its analysis using data from the home mortgage disclosure act to review median household incomes for homebuyers who took out a mortgage, though it doesn’t include buyers who paid using all cash.
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School is back in session—do you know the latest TikTok trends?
With Austin ISD resuming session on Monday, school officials are keeping tabs on the newest TikTok trends that could pose classroom disruptions and property damage.
TikTok trends swept through Austin-area schools last year with the “Devious Lick” challenge, which encouraged students to steal from school property and reportedly caused $15,000 in damages at Round Round ISD; and the “slap a staff member” challenge.
On the distraction end, a substitute teacher was dismissed from Bowie High School in December after bringing in a karaoke machine to class and singing Britney Spears’ “Toxic” for the class on TikTok.
Officials told KXAN they are staying aware of the trends as they change during the 2022-2023 school year and the district will investigate perceived threats. Since TikTok trends vary in severity, they will also evaluate to see which trends could cause harm or not.
Finally, the school district said it does not tolerate violence or bullying and will focus its efforts on protecting students both physically and digitally.