Meet the Woman Who Runs Alpine’s Independent Bookstore

Out in west Texas, you’ll find wide-open spaces where you can enjoy some quiet time. But what if you want to pick up a few books to read while you relax? There’s not a lot of big-box stores that far out, and Amazon might have a hard time finding you. Front Street Books, located in Alpine, has got you covered.

Jean Hardy-Pittman has owned the independent bookstore since 1995 and finds books relevant to the area.

“We have a good store that reflects our personal tastes and what our customers want,” she says.

Front Street makes a point to carry collectible and out-of-print books – and will find a book for a customer if they don’t already carry it. They’ll even ship it to you anywhere in Texas.

“We, of course, have everything that we can get about the Big Bend whether it’s fiction or non-fiction,” she says. “And when we have a special community event we get a lot of extra traffic – we’re always ready for them.”

Pittman says with a population of about 7,000, Alpine is the perfect area for her.

“People are friendly, and they’re enterprising,” she says. “The climate’s wonderful, we’re in the mountains but not int the very high mountains. We’re surrounded by ranch land.”

The cities in west Texas are often overlooked, but Pittman says it’s the place to really get a feel for what the Lone Star State is all about.

“It’s so Texan here you just want to put on your boots and spurs and cowboy hat – except, I got over that,” she says.

Listen to Pittman’s story in the player above. 

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