Bye-Bye, Books-A-Million (UPDATED)

Categories: Spaced City

BAM!! It's gone!!
We always thought a major bookstore downtown was a bit of a longshot, but Books-A-Million thought otherwise.

Until now, that is. Swamplot reports that the store in the new-ish Houston Pavilions will soon be shuttered.

Books-A-Million is kind of a southeastern Borders, with big stores in strippy kinds of malls, at least in our experience. They also are in fancier digs occasionally, and that was what they hoped for with the Pavilions, which is home to the House of Blues and Lucky Strike's hip bowling alley.

As Swamplot noted, there doesn't seem to be a lot of overlap for those markets.

We've put a call in to the Pavilions' spokesman but haven't heard back. Swamplot says the 23,000-square-foot store will be closed by January 15. Much of the stock will be redistributed.

What will fill the space will be an interesting question. Downtown redevelopment has to take off at some point, right?

Update: Swamplot is now reporting a last-second sweeter rent deal has been struck. Relevant update: We still haven't heard from the Pavilions people.

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Adam Torres
Adam Torres

A little too soon to start writing obits. Swamplot now says Book A Million is going to stay put.


That is a shame. I like going to the Books A Million in Downtown. It was on the way to UH and easy to get to if you ignore the parking issue. Looks like I am going have to go elsewhere if I want to buy some books.

downtown blues
downtown blues

Agreed, Jim Porter! The Houston Pavilions are terribly laid-out (no crosswalks, even?!), and the mix of businesses don't seem to have any consistency or mass appeal.

I've said it before and I'll say it again - downtown isn't going to develop until the property owners lower the goddamn rent across the board (exorbitant rent is the ONLY reason the Angelika departed and why that space remains empty). It's heartbreaking how many beautiful buildings stay empty down here and how many business fold and relocate, between the cluelessly high rent and the fact that there is literally no free parking anywhere during business hours.

There IS a market for a bookstore downtown, but it should be closer to the residential buildings on the north side, and should be maybe 1/3 the size of Books A Million. Unfortunately, businesses that size can't afford those motherfucking rent prices.

RIP, Books A Million. Always sucks to see a bookstore close.

Jim Porter
Jim Porter

I live across the street from the Houston Pavilions, and I work for NRG in that office building. I WANT to like the complex, I really do. But apart from some shows at the House of Blues, there is nothing in that place that has any appeal to me. The restaurants are too pricey for regular lunch patronage. I don't want to be Forever 21. I have no idea what CBGBHANKAZARIA is, but I'm pretty sure I hate it. And seriously -- UPSCALE bowling? And I'm shocked that the store that sold nothing but haute baseball caps already went out of business.

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