Lola Watson, the owner of the new independent book store in Buda EmDash Books, said she is hoping to provide an oasis of reading in a "book desert." The former English professor and librarian began her business as a pop-up before setting up shop inside Buda Bike Co., since independent book shops between Austin and San Antonio are few and far between, Watson said.

Growing up in a small town, far from book stores, Watson said she sought solace at her local library, and upon entering college, she discovered even more books and genres she didn't have access to.

She stocks her shop with stickers, bookmarks, books, graphic novels and comics for children and adults. Watson also hosts monthly book club events open to anyone and hopes to add more hobby classes or lessons to the schedule in the future.