It's been a while, haven't had much to talk about in detail. But since
it's Independent Bookstore
I have stuff to talk about. Specifically going to one of the
biggest bookstores I've ever been to.
So this morning, once I got free from work foo, I headed out to King Tut's
for lunch/bookhunting fuel. Had my usual lamb gyro and fries, then
about 1pm I headed to the northwest to visit Booked Up
. This is the bookstore that Larry McMurtry of
"Lonesome Dove" fame runs. It's about 2 hours from Château Innsmouth,
out in farm country. It's huge, and they're in the midst of expanding.
So I drove, and drove, and drove some more. Saw a lot of cows, a few cops,
and a number of small towns that I couldn't image living in. Then, finally
made it to Archer City and to my destination. It didn't look all that big
from the outside. Headed in, the staff said hi and gave me the quick rundown
of how things were laided out. First area looked like a cross between a
classic Texas ranch house and a library. Store has a cat, a pretty
black kitty who was pretty sphinx like (the monument, not the yoda-cat look).
So after looking around at books and art related to the history of the lace
and Mr McMurtry (who wasn't there), I went in to the next room...
And it's a warehouse. Shelves you need a 6' tall ladder to get to the
top of (they have a few of the stair ladders around). Figure out quick
there are two layouts, organized books by genre/subject, and the unorganized,
"there could be damn near anything there" sections. Which actually kind of
broke my brain. One of my secret bookhunting skills is that I can quickly
scan shelves looking for keywords/names/etc. Generally I can read the
spines as fast as my eyes can move, then if something trips the keyword
search, bingo, book I can look at more detail. This _does not work_ when
you're dealing with 12' shelves. So the unorganized parts pretty much just
made my head spin. (I don't know if this is normal, or if it's part of
the reorg and the new space across the street). But I was able to find my
usual favorite haunts. Horror wasn't super packed, but I found two
Ramsey Campbell hardbacks, a collection he did the forward to, and a pair of
novels that screamed late 70's occult horror. There were a couple of
Lovecraft books, but they were recent editions. Btw, if you like
mysteries or thrillers, there were about 5 times as many of those as horror.
History was good, but nothing screamed to be taken home. Then I found the
esoterica section...which given how far I was out in farm country, well
I expected it to be a shelf or two. Again, wasn't packed, but there was
something for most anyone. Found a study from SUNY's series on Western
Esoterica, and a book by Colin Wilson on people who have claimed to be a
messiah. Which I didn't know existed at all. So they got added to the pile.
Wandered a while longer, came back up front, left my pile at checkout and
went across the street to check the new space. It's a mix of organized
and disorganized, like they're trying to get stuff on shelves, and then
will get like with like. Found some good things, but I was already pushing
my budget limit and they weren't things I absolutely had to have. So after
getting lost in the stacks, I headed back across the street and checked out.
Got my books, gave over my Innsmouth gold, made a comment that for my next
visit I was probably going to stay over in town so I could have more time.
Seems I'm not the only one to think, or do that. *grin* Got back in the
car, and drove the two hours home. (Thank Cthulhu for an audiobook of
'The Case of Charles Dexter Ward').
So, my thoughts about Booked Up? It's huge, it's random as heck, and if
there was a bookstore you might stumble upon the Necronomicon, it's this
one. Downside is, it's an old Texas building, so little airflow and it
was pretty warm (got to about 90 today, not sure I want to go there in
August). It's also out in the middle of nowhere. The randomness wasn't
my thing either, but I only had a small window to view. They're open
Thurs-Saturday from 1 to 5pm, so you're limited to the damage you can do.
But it's a nice, friendly place with a quirky vibe and oh so many books. So
if you're in the North Texas/Oklahoma region, look it up.
And, and the books I got are.
Rogue Messiahs - Colin Wilson
Trithemius and Magical Theology - Noel L. Braun
The Sorcerer - Eric Ericson
The Woman Who Slept with Demons - Eric Ericson
Ancient Images - Ramsey Campbell
Night of the Claw - Ramsey Campbell (under the pseudonym Jay Ramsey)
The Dark Side - Guy de Maupassani