Katy Budget Books

Great customer service creates customer loyalty

There may not be a million books inside the walls of Katy Budget Books, but there are at least that many stories to be told.

The hybrid new and used book store is celebrating its 29th year of feeding the habits of local bibliophiles.

"I come here once a week," said Ted Guntle of Rosenberg, who was purchasing dozens of used books during the opening day of the store's semi-annual sale.

Twice a year, once in the spring and again in the fall, the store clears out tens of thousands of books for $1 or less. Guntle, like thousands of others, hungrily hoard hardbacks and paperbacks during the 17-day reading frenzy.

"It's the nicest bookstore I know of," he said. "You can find what you want and if you can't, they can order it for you."

Customer service is the hallmark of the store that is managing to survive while scores of other mom-and-pop bookstores are succumbing to e-readers and online outlets.

"E-readers and digital content have had a significant impact on the book industry," manager Richard Deupree said.

The store is owned by Tamra Dore, who was a regular customer at a small bookstore that she eventually bought. After a couple of relocations in the same area around Fry and Saums roads, Dore had the current facility built, and it has been home for 12 years.

"We offer customer service and services that you can't get online," she said.

She said loyal customers who have been with her from the start and the new ones who discover her store every day are the key to the success of the store.

"We couldn't do it without them," she said.

Deupree said Dore employs 30 people full-time, one of whom is his wife, Alicia, who was hired 22 years ago.

"You can't touch the book knowledge and you can't touch the passion for books we have here," he said.

Deupree said the appeal of Katy Budget Books is the friendly atmosphere. He credits that to the example set by Dore.

"Tamra is extremely generous with employees and customers," he said.

In addition to selling books, Katy Budget Books has frequent author signings, hosts children's reading times, has special sales for teachers, emails regular newsletters, has a website and is active on social media online.

Deupree said the staff is so dedicated to their craft that they can read their customers as well as the books they buy.

"They can tell from whom you read what your next favorite book will be," he said.

Katy Budget Books, 2450 Fry Road, Houston, 281-578-7770, www.katybooks.com


Memorial Hermann is hosting a drive-thru vaccine clinic at the Smart Financial Center in Sugar Land April 15-16. (Community Impact Newspaper)
Walk-ins welcome at COVID-19 vaccine clinic April 15-16 at Smart Financial Center

Haven't recieved the COVID-19 vaccine yet? Memorial Hermann is hosting a drive-thru clinic from 7 a.m.-5 p.m. in Sugar Land. No appointment necessary.

Population and Survey Analysts, which predicted KISD would grow by approximately 2,400 new students per year for the next decade, made the recommendation to build additional elementary, junior high and high schools, especially in the north and far west areas of the district. (Jen Para/Community Impact Newspaper)
Katy ISD officials talk budget deficit, bond

"Where is the new money coming from?”

Federal funding is set aside for public schools to address effects of the pandemic. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Why Texas has not yet distributed $18 billion in federal funds intended for public schools

As budget decisions loom for school districts across Texas, state leaders are holding on to federal funds intended for public schools to use in addressing the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Homes priced above $750,000, such as this one in the Heights, saw a surge in sales in March, with almost twice as many properties sold. (Courtesy Houston Association of Realtors)
Average Houston single-family home price jumps 20% in March

The average sale price for a home in March was $370,847.

The Electric Reliability Council of Texas said power outages are not expected April 13, while requesting energy conservation. (Iain Oldman/Community Impact Newspaper)
UPDATE: ERCOT call for energy conservation ends April 13 without need for power outages

An ERCOT official said "tight" supply and demand conditions arose on the state's electric grid April 13 due to forecasting issues amid planned, seasonal maintenance outages by some power generators.

Spearheaded by state Rep. Gene Wu, D-Houston, the new court, if established, would expand the capacity of the county's criminal court system in hopes of reducing its backlog, which stood at 70,951 total cases pending before criminal district courts in Harris County as of April 8. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Harris County supports creation of new criminal district court to tackle case backlog

If the efforts are successful, this would be Harris County's first new criminal district court since 1984 when the 351st District Court was created.

Newk's Eatery has closed its location in the Katy area. (Courtesy Newk's Eatery)
Newk's Eatery closes Katy-area location

While the Katy location may have closed, Newk's continues to serve diners at its Bunker Hill restaurant.

Fort Bend County's Mobile Health Unit will administer vaccinations in portions of the county that are economically disadvantaged or lack access to transportation, said County Judge KP George. (Screenshot courtesy Fort Bend County)
Fort Bend County to administer COVID-19 vaccinations from new Mobile Health Unit

Fort Bend County's Mobile Health Unit will administer vaccinations in portions of the county that are economically disadvantaged or lack access to transportation, County Judge KP George said.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and U.S. Food and Drug Administration recommended health providers pause distribution of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine April 13. (Olivia Aldridge/Community Impact Newspaper)
State, federal health authorities recommend pause of Johnson & Johnson vaccine after 6 rare, severe blood clots

Hub providers in Dallas, Harris and Travis counties have all announced they will follow the recommendations and pause distribution of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

Armored Sports camps feature basketball, flag football and more. (Courtesy Pexels)
Armored Sports camps to launch in venues across Greater Houston

A new Christian sports camp for youth is launching this summer in churches across the Greater Houston area.

"Breaking Strongholds" is a faith-based, eight-episode series that explores topics such as suicide and depression. (Courtesy Terry Weaver)
Series shot in Montgomery County aiming for Hulu, Netflix deal and more Houston-area news

Read the latest business and community news from the Houston area.