Books, Zines, & MoreCome check out our carefully curated selection of radical books, zines, posters, and ephemera. Feel free to browse the shelves or ask one of our volunteers to point you toward something that you’re sure to like.
Volunteer-Run CollectiveMonkeyWrench Books is run by an all-volunteer staff who approach decision-making collectively. As a Texas nonprofit, our revenue goes directly to the store and helps us keep our doors open.
Café WrenchWe proudly serve coffee from our friends at Third Coast Coffee Roasters, offer an assortment of teas and sodas, and carry vegan baked goods by Celeste’s Best and Red Rabbit Cooperative Bakery.
Events & MeetingsWe have hosted film screenings, live-musical performances, open general assemblies, brunches, author presentations, and everything in between. You can also catch us around town, tabling at other community events. Join us for an event or host your own.
Social CenterWith the comfiest couch in Austin and plenty of seating, Monkeywrench Books is the perfect place to read and study as well as make connections and build relationships with others who want more than the best this world has to offer.
Keep It LocalMonkeywrench Books is a project that both keeps its eye on the tensions, changes, struggles and organizing efforts that are currently shaping the Austin area, as well as takes the time to explore the history of the place on which we sit.
In 2001, a group of people who had been loosely organizing around an alternative newspaper (The Austin Javelina) and other local radicals began selling books around town, throwing shows, and fundraising to open a radical bookstore and community space. By the spring of 2002, Monkeywrench Books had opened its doors.
Learning from the successes and failures of other infoshops and radical bookstores than had begun popping up internationally in the 1980s and ’90s, MWB established itself as an all-volunteer organization that, while selling books and ephemera to keep its doors open, had at its center the goal of creating and maintaining an enduring space for radical discussion, activity, and possibility. Through its now 12
We are now putting out our own books. Titles are available in store and, in some cases online. All proceeds go toward funding the next book in the project.
From the introduction:
“In our studied patience we have been able to discuss what others pass over in silence: the generalized impasse which is our situation. In a moment when the old ways of engaging seem not to be having the anticipated effects, we offer both some meditations on what it means to be where we are and a gesture toward new ways of understanding and resisting. Each of the five conference pieces sets out from a stalemate where all options seem exhausted and all avenues explored.
Austin Restricted: Progressivism, Zoning, Private Racial Covenants, and the Making of a Segregated City by Eliot Tretter
While available online, Monkeywrench Publishing has plans to put former collective member Eliot Tretter’s important book back into print. From the introduction:
Shipe, therefore, acted and created anew “businessmen’s government,” which would help fuel the city’s growth through public expenditure and discourage the vast majority of people from meddling in politics, particularly poor and non-white people. Moreover, his antipathy toward non-whites became embedded in the very way Austin grew. For generations, Shipe’s planned development, the first planned subdivision in Austin, excluded certain people from some of the best real estate opportunities in the city for no other reason than their lack of perceived similarity to a social group called the ‘white race.’