70° San Marcos
The Student News Site of Texas State University

The University Star

The Student News Site of Texas State University

The University Star

The Student News Site of Texas State University

The University Star

Starting a new chapter: Bookshop opens in SMTX

Mandalyn Lewallen
Local resident browses through the “Popular Books” section Friday, February 9, 2024 at Green Heron.

Green Heron Bookshop opened its doors to the San Marcos public on Feb. 9. It’s the community’s first bookstore since Half Price Books closed in June 2022 after a decline in customer traffic. Some locals, like Texas State alumnus Chris Boeke, said they couldn’t find a place to buy their books. Boeke attended the opening day of the new store.

“I was here when there was a Half Price Books,” Boeke said. “It closed down, and I was like, ‘There’s no bookshop.’ I’m just glad there’s a place now.”

Bookshop owner Wade Vetiver owns Solidago Apothecary within the same building. As a Texas State alumnus, he decided to purchase the space for the bookshop when it became available because he doesn’t remember there being an indie bookstore when he attended the university.

“We saw the bookstores die, we saw the things go away, we pushed into this digital isolation bracket the last few years,” Vetiver said. “People are ready to do something and enjoy themselves and experience the world and other people and things in it, which books are.”

Clara Blankenship, a psychology senior, saw on Instagram that Green Heron Bookshop had opened.

“I feel like it’s something this town has been missing because even Half Price Books is more of a chain,” Blankenship said. “I love Half Price Books, but it’s nice to have a little Indie-like independently-owned, small business bookstore to come support, and I’m excited to not have to drive to Austin.”

Vetiver opened Solidago Apothecary in January 2023 after experiencing loss in his life. The endeavors of both his businesses are for his goal: to have people see themselves in his shops. His shops have allowed him to reignite joy in himself and he hopes to do the same in those who visit the bookshop.

“I felt this surge of needing to do something to provide joy and to also ignite my joy and it has been doing that,” Vetiver said. “That’s been the baseline goal the whole time. I just want to spread some happiness.”

Green Heron Bookshop is stashed with roughly half used books and half new books. Book categories consist of contemporary, fiction, bestsellers and new releases. He plans to change out the top-10 books in the nation on a monthly rotation according to the Ingram Content Group list.

“I love poetry, cooking, philosophy and art so the shop is heavy on those titles,” Vetiver said. “[The shop is] also heavy on fiction because of the community picks. [They’re histories], especially histories that feature marginalized groups. I have LGBT history, Latin American history and indigenous history of the United States.”

One intention Vetiver had when planning the bookshop was to create a liminal space. He did this by creating some art for sale that centers around local themes to San Marcos including a blind salamander, a mermaid, bats and a heron. He said he wants to be in tune with archetypes of San Marcos.

“I’m obsessed with liminal spaces in general,” Vetiver said. “Doorways, crossroads; The bookshop is a liminal space too because it’s a bridge between our thoughts or art or dreams, and what we don’t yet know.”

Green Heron Bookshop is open Monday, Thursday, and Friday from noon to 7 p.m. and on weekends from noon to 4:30 p.m.

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