North Texas Daily

Recycled Books gives breath of fresh air to customers

Recycled Books gives breath of fresh air to customers

September 05
13:13 2015

Matt Payne | Senior Staff Writer

Jump into your car past approximately 7 p.m. on any given Friday, Saturday or Sunday and drive down Hickory St., and it’s not uncommon to find several other drivers have been struck with the same inspiration.

Visiting the iconic Denton Square over the weekend has proven to be anything but a leisurely joyride for many motorists rubbing bumpers with one another.

In the rare occurrence he’s able to find a parking spot, Denton County resident for the past 15 years Allan Panter often reflects on the overwhelming host of residents who populate the city.

“The square has been the go-to place to chill for at least the past decade,” Panter said. “I only wish it were easier to shuffle around the obnoxious crowds of ogling college freshmen and drunks.”

Despite his disdain, Panter still manages to find solace in downtown Denton.

“I love getting a beer and two slices at J & J’s like most middle-agers my age in this city. It’s just a bit winding constantly being thrown into the fire with hundreds of other bodies,” Panter said. “A catch of breath for me in the stifling crowds is often a casual walk through Recycled Books.”

Panter finds Recycled Books to be a refreshing change of pace. The storefront, established out of a former opera house back in 1990, has forged an unorthodox vibe that attracts visitors from near and far.

“Just by nature of this place being built from an old opera house, that makes this place a really attractive place to visit” said assistant manager Lacey Richins. “There are tons of little nooks and crannies and stuff that existed before the bookstore. We sort of just took advantage of that.”


The nooks and crannies of Recycled Books are a haven for many of Denton’s residents. They are rumored to hide a number of secret rooms. Erica Wieting | Features Editor

Whether upstairs above the children’s section or downstairs within the depths of the history shelves, stacks of books decorate the shelves, forging several comfortable alcoves for customers to fan through a novel or two.

“I think what makes this store cool is us,” Richens said, referring to both staff and customers. “Working here for about five years, there’s definitely a lot about this store I don’t know fully, myself.”

Interspersed throughout the store are rooms hidden from the public eye, inaccessible to any outsider, according to the staff of Recycled Books.

“There’s a room with a hammock, among other fancy things, but I definitely wouldn’t be able to tell you exactly how to get there,” Richins said. “Certainly not common knowledge, but that just adds to our aesthetic of mystery.”

The allure of Recycled Books is strong enough to attract newcomers near and far. Mirza Adrovic made a commute of over 15 miles from Little Elm to explore the valuable treasures found within.

“The Internet is why I’m here. That, and seeing the bumper stickers on seemingly thousands of cars,” Adrovic said. “I absolutely drool over collection stores like these.”

A fledging vinyl record collector, Adrovic approached his first visit to Recycled Books as a hunt.

Recycled Books faces its storefront with products traded in by collectors. It’s not uncommon for collectible rarities to pass through the doors.

“I’ve found a lot of rare records in stores like Half Price Books before. One of my favorite finds was an old record from The Roots, which I used to only think was available for ludicrous prices on Amazon before,” Adrovic said. “Older records from years past are usually what I dig for.”

Adrovic was consumed with fascination when he became aware of the building’s original purpose as an opera house.

“They’ve done such a thorough job converting this place to a bookstore,” Adrovic said. “I’m sure this store has a lot waiting to be dug up.”

Featured Image: A sign at Recycled Books warns wandering customers away from an upstairs door. Erica Wieting | Features Editor

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