Stop the world, I finally got to visit Booked Up in Archer City, TX.
If you don’t know, Booked Up is one of the last great independent used bookstores of Texas.
It’s famous because it is owned by Larry McMurtry (the guy who wrote Lonesome Dove and a hundred other books you should go read right now).
And Booked Up is not in some big city!
It’s in Larry’s hometown, a place with a population of ~1,800.
Archer City is one of those cities that is so common across rural Texas. Of course it has a Dairy Queen, a gas station or two, a cemetery, a courthouse, a small town square, a handful of abandon buildings, a little post office, a school, and a number of churches.
I have been wanting to go since grad school and have never made it.
At one time the store had over 300,000 books!
Today they still boast over 100,000 volumes.
Anyway – I got to go and browse the stacks for about an hour with the entire fam, which was just the coolest thing ever.
Their sign in Building 2 made me laugh:
If you are unable to locate an employee in this building
Please feel free to wander around yelling “yoo-hoo” and peering into storage rooms until completely frustrated. Then proceed to building one where you will find patronizing employees busy at work or sitting around drinking coffee, laughing at you.
I bought a copy of Salvador, By: Joan Didion (Amazon).
(For more Didion, watch: The Center Will Not Hold)
The kids insisted that I buy them a little volume of Jacques Cousteau titled The Ocean World Of Jacques Cousteau (Volume 14).
I could have stayed for a week snooping around.
Must. Go. Back.
It might be worth an occasional trip to Oklahoma City just to have the excuse to stop in.