As I walked through the door of Patchouli Joe’s, I was immediately greeted by a friendly cocker spaniel, as if she had been waiting at the door for me. The quaint bookstore smelled like essential oils and books, I immediately felt like I was home.
Patchouli Joe’s Books and Indulgences is a locally-owned bookstore located in Old Town Leander. They carry new and gently-used books, similarly priced to what you would find at Barnes and Noble. They’re open all days of the week from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., with the exception of Sundays where they open at noon.
After greeting the store dog, I looked around and saw tall bookshelves lining the walls and a thoughtfully decorated children’s corner where they host storytime events on Wednesdays and Saturdays. A few tables to read at and displays with locally created art and merchandise were placed throughout the store. It felt like everywhere I looked I found something I hadn’t noticed before. The atmosphere was refreshingly different from big-name bookstores like Barnes and Noble or Half Price Books.
The books were a mix of new and used. They felt like they were hand-picked because every title was more intriguing than the last. There were books I recognized, and books I’d never heard of. The selection was balanced and clearly thought out, which was especially nice when I didn’t have to go through 20 books to find one good one. Books were full price, usually at around $15 to $20. Besides books, there’s an assortment of locally created merchandise such as art prints, bracelets and some yummy-smelling soaps. After looking at my bank account, I didn’t end up buying anything, but boy did I want to.
The staff was friendly, but a northern no-small-talk type of friendly. Besides the initial greeting and dog introduction, they kept to themselves and let me roam around at my own leisure. Personally, I much prefer this over being constantly bombarded by workers. They were the perfect level of pleasant and certainly contributed to the quiet atmosphere.
My one and only complaint is the odd location. Finding the store was tough. I had to take a few laps around Old Town Leander before spotting it nestled beside the Leander Beer Market. Above the shop was a locally owned boutique, My Steel Magnolia. It was comforting to find alcoves of small, local businesses in today’s corporationalist society.
Patchouli Joe’s really sold me with their cozy atmosphere and local aspect. From their diverse selection to their cocker spaniel, there’s so much to love making the hunt around Old Town Leander to find it well worth it. Patchouli Joe’s was everything one would want from a local book shop. Still, the only drawback would be the odd location at 106 W Willis St Ste B. In my book they score a 4.5/5.