Houston’s ‘murderous’ bookstore thriving in an e-book world

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by Mia Gradney / KHOU 11 News

khou.com

Posted on May 22, 2013 at 10:45 AM

Updated Wednesday, May 22 at 10:47 AM

HOUSTON –- It’s the case of a small neighborhood bookstore that’s thriving in Houston.

Yes, people still read books and they’re not just using their Kindles or e-readers to do it. They’re seeking out specific books -- especially those books about murder and mystery.

At Murder by the Book in Rice Village, it’s a real “who-done-it.”

“Throughout its history, we’ve had a lot of employees who have taken great pride in developing the genre,” says employee-turned-owner McKenna Jordan.

She snoops out the best murder mystery books and authors at her appropriately named book store.

“The reason why people love mysteries and why you see them at the top of the New York Times’ bestseller list is that it’s not just a story about a character, but you always have something wrong that happens, and most of the time there’s a resolution.”

“There are a lot of these book stores that are dying off,” says Jordan. “A lot of people have only had an experience with a Barnes & Noble or a Borders before they close.”

“There’s an appeal to coming in.  There’s that kind of anti-big box stores movement.”

That brings us to the biggest twist in this mystery.

“Contrary to what a lot of people think, independent book stores showed a huge increase last year in general … because people want that customer service.  They want that personal touch. “

And they want evidence, evidence to show they read the book.

“Generally we find that people buy a hard back signed book as a souvenir of that experience. They may already have it in their Kindle, paperback, and want the signed book to remind them of meeting the author.”

And that keeps this place in business. Mystery solved. Case closed.

The store also sets itself apart by hosting big name authors. They’re known to have three author appearances and events a week.

On the web: http://www.murderbooks.com/

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