The Twig Book Shop has been a San Antonio favorite since 1972 and is currently the city’s only independent bookstore carrying newly released titles. Located at the historic Pearl Brewery on the Museum Reach of the Riverwalk, the Twig draws a healthy mix of regulars and tourists – especially those seeking to learn a bit of history about its unique location.
The shop moved to what locals affectionally call “The Pearl” around a decade ago, when the former brewery was reimagined into a mixed-use space of boutique shops, cafes, green spaces, an amphitheater, and one of the campuses of The Culinary Institute of America. With its vast and varied offerings, the Twig fits right in at the popular space and fills a niche not only for the Pearl but the city itself.
“There are a several used shops around the city, but outside of some chains like Barnes and Noble, we’re the only true independent bookstore that sells only new books,” says store clerk Sam Jimenez.
In addition to a large inventory of adult and children’s titles and classics, the shop carries a variety of gift items and a robust selection of local and regional works. Local authors are prominently featured at The Twig, with the shop hosting routine book signings and author readings. Shoppers can also browse digitally at the Twig’s expansive online store.
Meanwhile, the Texana collection makes the shop a destination for history lovers from all over. In fact, one of the most popular sellers is a book about the Pearl Brewery, which attracts the attention of both local and visiting history buffs.
As I quietly browsed around the shop on my visit, more than once I heard friendly staff members greeting customers by name and catching up on one another’s lives.
“We have a good mix of regulars,” says store clerk Michele. “It has really helped the shop to be here at The Pearl. We have our regulars but we also draw in the tourists, so it’s a great blend of customers.”
Time and time again in my travels, booksellers have pointed to their ability to develop personal connections with customers – who often become friends – as a true mark of success. If my brief time inside The Twig is any indication of a typical day in the shop, it’s a mark they’re certainly hitting.
The Twig Book Shop is located at 306 Pearl Parkway, Suite 106, San Antonio, Texas. The shop is open daily from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. (with hours varying for special events).