GOOD NEWS: Odessa and Permian Basin named a top destination for book lovers in Texas

If you have attended One Book Odessa or Books in the Basin, read a story about West Texas, or know an author based in the Permian Basin, then there is a good chance you know why Odessa and the Permian Basin was named a top destination for book lovers and avid readers.
Lone Star Literary Life, a weekly online subscription devoted to helping readers find stories and authors and publishers find their ideal audiences, named Odessa and the Permian Basin the Top 5 “Bookish Destination” in Texas.
One of the reasons why the publication ranked Odessa as the Top 5 “Bookish Destination” is because the region promotes literature, literary events and programs.
The Ellen Noël Art Museum’s impressive Tome Lea mural, Stampede, the legacy of the book Friday Night Lights, and the Presidential Archives and Leadership library, located on the University of Texas Permian Basin campus, were noted as top draws for those who take reading and literature very seriously.
Another reason Odessa and the Permian Basin were named the top 5 “Bookish Destination” is because of festivals like Books in the Basin and the Odessa Shakespeare Festival which recently wrapped up at The Globe Theater on the Odessa College campus. Programs featured at the Ellen Noël Art Museum such as regular monthly book club meetings, Art Tales, a weekly story time and art activity every Wednesday and the Little Free Library situated in the museum’s lush, quiet sensory garden are also noted as contributing factors.
The decision to name a town or city a bookish destination is based off of 45 points of criteria, remarked Michelle Newby, Contributing Editor for Lone Star Literary, on a recent interview on the Texas Standard radio show. In order to be a bookish destination, a particular flavor of a place must be evident.
The town or city must have a place or destination for book lovers to congregate.
“It is an honor for the Permian Basin to be named in the Top Ten Bookish Destinations again in 2017. Our area has received this honor for three years running.
I personally feel our Director at the Odessa Council for the Arts and Humanities is largely responsible for this and I would like to tip my hat to Randy Ham and thank him for all the work he’s done to make Odessa a literary destination,” remarked Odessa Convention and Visitors Bureau Director, Lawanna Lambert.
To learn more about the award or to read about the other Bookish Destinations, visit
The Odessa Convention and Visitors Bureau is a non-profit organization dedicated to travel and tourism in Odessa.