For the literate individual whose free time is not spent just Netflix-and-chilling, or the audiophile with the insatiable appetite for all things vinyl, what better way to spend an afternoon than among the stacks and rows of some of your closest companions: books and records.
Luckily, San Antonio has some exceptional opportunities to score that first edition Kerouac, rare Selena y Los Dinos 45 or tie-dyed Brown Acid LP. Hogwild Records (1824 N. Main Ave., 210-733-5354) possesses the best metal and punk selection of vinyl in town. Whether you are looking to blow your paycheck or want to thriftily browse the rows of discount boxes for that Charlie Rich or Huey Lewis record that nobody seems to want.
Janie's Record Shop (1012 Bandera Road, 210-735-2070) is a gem of an establishment, known well to collectors and those who just want to peruse — particularly of the sounds of Texas and Mexico: Conjunto, norteño, tejano, country and a growing catalog of American rock 'n' roll — Janie's has been a San Antonio landmark for decades, with the awards to prove it. Janie's is an absolute must for anyone looking for authentic articles of that San Anto sound.
For South Siders, the record store cum head shop known as Flip Side Record Parlor (840 SW Military Drive, 210-923-7811) has been many San Antonians go-to spot for vinyl and other rock 'n' roll accessories for years.
Although the grand opening date continues to be pushed back, Southtown's only record store, Southtown Vinyl (1010 S. Flores St., 210-730-6941) complete with turntables and all your record playing necessities, has local vinyl heads rapt with anticipation.
Another strip staple, Robot Monster Guitars (517 E. Woodlawn Ave., 210-320-1710) "fell from outer space in 2008" and has been providing local musicians with accessories, trinkets, vintage music equipment, books on all things rock 'n' roll and a serious collection of rare vinyl.
Now, for the bookworms among us, there are few places in Texas that will have you salivating more than the strip of bookstores on Broadway that includes Cheever Books (3613 Broadway, 210-824-2665), specializing in quality used books since 1986, Antiquarian Book Mart (3127 Broadway, 210-828-4885), whose selection is so impressive that if you can't find it at one of these two neighboring bookstores, it may not exist, and Half-Price Books (3207 Broadway, 210-822-4597) whose stacks of used books and reissues of classic vinyl records surely holds some victorious rare find for anyone with some time to kill.
These three shops, conveniently strung along Broadway like fraternal triplets, are also great places for celebrity book-lover sightings, including amateur historian Glenn Danzig, most recently.