Book Lover’s Paradise

“If you want one thing too much it’s likely to be a disappointment. The healthy way is to learn to like the everyday things, like soft beds and buttermilk—and feisty gentlemen.” -Larry McMurtry, Lonesome Dove

“By the time the shade had reached the river, Augustus would have mellowed with the evening and be ready for some intelligent conversation, which usually involved talking to himself.” -Lonesome Dove

“By the time the shade had reached the river, Augustus would have mellowed with the evening and be ready for some intelligent conversation, which usually involved talking to himself.” -Lonesome Dove

In Archer City, Texas, there’s a dusty wonder with a stupid name not too far from the Dairy Queen where you can get a chicken finger basket and Blizzard in February if you want. Built by an old man, it doesn’t look romantic, or even clean, really, but this place holds more romance and beauty than many cathedrals. The ceiling tiles are stained and beat up. None of the furnishings work. The sign is ugly. Even the concrete planter outside the entrance is askew and filled with a cactus that’s thriving only because it can be ignored. The condition of the walls are unimportant, the paint color irrelevant. Only the contents of its myriad shelves matter: worlds upon worlds are hidden in this humble spot, spilling out into four separate buildings, silently standing proud, lined up and stacked high a bit too close to their introverted neighbors.

“Only a rank degenerate would drive 1,500 miles across Texas without eating a chicken fried steak.” -Larry McMurtry, In a Narrow Grave, Essays on Texas

“i'd hate to read all these books...that much reading could put your eyes out.” -Larry McMurtry, Texasville

“I’d hate to read all these books…that much reading could put your eyes out.” -Larry McMurtry, Texasville

Booked Up, Inc. was born because Larry McMurtry loves words. People who love words also love books they can hold. Too much, really. These strange ones like to watch the words tango and mingle with one another in poetry, waltz under photographs in nature books, wander in the metaphors of a good piece of fiction, cut deep in biting and memorable speeches, pierce the mind in inspirational essays, break hearts in songs, inform and fascinate even on copyright pages, and teach, even in the occasional textbook. They go back to them over and over again, enjoying them as one does treasured memories.

“Maybe you can make art out of unredeemed pain, but only if you’re a genius — Dostoyevsky perhaps.” -Larry McMurtry

People like this have a hard time letting go of books. Seeing them in old boxes at garage sales, or shoved in boxes and crammed in basements or garages where they sit in the dark gathering dust, they appear to us like abandoned children, rejected for the most inexcusable of reasons: because they no longer interest the people they live with.

“The earth is mostly just a boneyard. But pretty in the sunlight.”

"I expect you've been sittin' up all night reading the Good Book" -Woodrow Call to Augustus McRae, Lonesome Dove

“I expect you’ve been sittin’ up all night reading the Good Book” -Woodrow Call to Augustus McRae, Lonesome Dove

And so, Larry has collected a vast array of books, some that are immensely valuable to collectors (first editions of so many wonderful things, like a recently acquired Wodehouse, and a David Foster Wallace work worth $1,500), along with all manner of mass market things, fictions and non-fictions both, serious and silly, fantastical, weird, and wonderful. People and cats wander awestruck through four buildings full of wonders.

“It’s a fine world, though rich in hardships at times.”

“It is sometimes the minor, not the major, characters in a novel who hold the author's affection longest. It may be that one loses affection for the major characters because they suck off so much energy as one pushes them through their lives.” -Larry McMurtry, Roads-Driving America's Great Highways

“It is sometimes the minor, not the major, characters in a novel who hold the author’s affection longest. It may be that one loses affection for the major characters because they suck off so much energy as one pushes them through their lives.” -Larry McMurtry, Roads-Driving America’s Great Highways

The immediate gratification and weightless emptiness of the internet is battled here. Here, the endless aisles intensify the effort required to search for the right word. Pages and bindings are heralded, given their proper value and prominence. One could find a lot of the information in Larry’s warehouse of words with an easy click of a plastic mouse, but here, one must hunt, and, upon finding what they have been searching for, hold a heavy bound up thing, and touch the pages, feeling the pages, smelling the time and the effort that is contained within the frail paper walls of the humble world hidden in a real book.

“Most young dealers of the Silicon Chip Era regard a reference library as merely a waste of space. Old Timers on the West Coast seem to retain a fondness for reference books that goes beyond the practical. Everything there is to know about a given volume may be only a click away, but there are still a few of us who’d rather have the book than the click. A bookman’s love of books is a love of books, not merely of the information in them.” -Larry McMurtry, Books

This entry was posted in America, Books, Culture, Larry McMurtry, Literature, Lonesome Dove, peculiar people, Preservation, Quotes, Texas, Travel and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

297 Responses to Book Lover’s Paradise

  1. indytony says:

    This is a very well written reflection on a place I’d love to visit one day. It almost makes me feel guilty for downloading a Kindle Reader App today. Almost.

  2. Michelle Denny says:

    Surrounded by books and a free weekend…… when are we going? Beautifully written! So proud! <3

  3. I enjoyed your post. It is sad that books and bookstores are dwindling away :(

    • rodalena says:

      I agree. Some of our progress takes us backward…

      • bernasvibe says:

        **Ooooo I so agree with this comment! I dig progress and my tech toys; but nothing and I mean NOTHING can replace reading an actual BOOK. How can a device replace the sweetness of being able to curl up with a hot cup of java, blanket, and a book? Just flipping the pages is part of the thrill of speeding through an awesome read..or least for me. And the quiet wonder of a library, for me, is still one of the best places to study. Something about rows of books, books, and more books..Yep, I’m a major Barnes & Noble fan as well…Very nice read; thanks for sharing. Not often I get the chance to reflect on how much I love books lol!

      • Ensis says:

        I don’t know, I love my books, but there are the ones you can read once and get rid of far outweigh (literally) the ones you keep forever. For instance, I bought Dan Brown’s Last Symbol in hardcover and I bought Hunger Games on nook book.
        Lesson learned there!

  4. love this! my granddaughter and i started counting my books but we gave up @ 300 that was a few years ago! :) i would be happy living in a library :)

  5. intrepid144 says:

    That certainly is a paradise and I love how you have written this description! I would be in seventh heaven there.

  6. Great! Thank you for sharing.

  7. marycheshier says:

    Reblogged this on How 2 Be Green and commented:
    Great site!

  8. What a surprise getaway–the kind of find I would enjoy very much. Thank you.

  9. suelinhess says:

    With the exception of the skewed cement planter filled with cactus, you might be describing my house! I’ve moved all over the world in my life, and regardless of weight limits set by employers, the books stay with me. The furniture goes, and I might even consider leaving behind a child or two, before letting go of my precious books. You expressed the feeling perfectly – the smell, the texture of the paper, the weight…ahhhh :)

  10. I’ve become very accepting of the fact that these beautiful book nooks are disappearing, but I find myself thrilled when I discover they still exist. Thank you for this window into this wayward world.

  11. Sounds like heaven to me. One of my favourite book shops is Shakespeare and Co in Paris. The first thing I did when I bought my first house was have fitted book shelves put in by a carpenter. Please check out the foodblog I have just started

  12. ottomandandy says:

    great writeup for motivating to launch a bookstore

  13. Going into a used book store is like making time stop. I love the smell, the way the light is always full of dust motes, and the muffled sound from all those buffering pages. And the excitement of holding a really old book, knowing that others have turned the same pages, by candlelight or firelight or incandescent light…sipped their tea or wine, left a splotch or two, smeared a corner with lipstick from a licked finger…met the same characters, and then passed the adventure on to the next explorer. I appreciate e readers, but the experience is just not the same.

  14. Wow, I want to go there now! Thanks for the great description.

  15. Peggy Isaacs says:

    I have driven through Archer City a million times on my way to Wichita Falls and have never noticed this treasure. Next time I will pay more attention; next time I will make time for a pit stop.

  16. Lauren says:

    Reblogged this on The Grateful Life.

  17. Ammon says:

    “I want to go to there” (said using my best Liz Lemon impression). Wow, I could get lost in there for weeks!

  18. Naomi says:

    This is my kind of place!

  19. This sounds like such a lovely place to visit

  20. klyse3 says:

    So beautiful…I knew I was addicted to books when I started wandering our local library literally touching each book as I looked for something to read…not much, just a brush of fingers to feel them. The things I could find in a place like that!

  21. Britt says:

    This is so beautifully written. And Larry (and you) speak to all of us who romance the written word and the ability to hold and smell and lend and borrow and decorate the shelves with them. You have given every reader a Valentine with this charming piece.

  22. lignumdraco says:

    There’s always something special about that “unexpected find” that can brighten the dullest day. Thanks.

  23. Bill Chance says:

    Really nice… now I’m going to have to make the drive up there and visit.

    One other spot every book-o-phile should visit in Central/Western Texas is Robert E. Howard’s house in Cross Plains.

  24. Sam McManus says:

    Books are windows into the soul. So what if they’re writers’ souls instead of characters’ souls. I love this post. Keep it up!

  25. This reminds me of a lovely bookstore from my college days. Very nostalgic. Thanks for the post!

  26. OH! This is beautifully written. I sometimes question the Fresh Pressings – but not this one. Top quality prose. And the topic closest to my heart! My house looks like Larry’s store (only not so well organized). Your description makes it sound worth a trip to the Lone Star state just to visit Larry’s! Thanks and congrats!

    • rodalena says:

      Thank you, Melanie. I am really hoping Larry’s store sees some more traffic. Places like Booked Up should be filled with appreciative people.

      • One of my favorite places on the planet is a musty used book store in New Hampshire. I make special trips just to go there and purchase boxes of books I don’t need.
        There is spirit in a used book store you don’t find anywhere else – hope Larry stays in the biz!

  27. Just the feeling of books all around is perfect. Thanks for sharing this with us.

  28. Ritu KT says:

    I hope to build such a huge collection someday. It looks like a paradise to me!
    Congratulations on being Freshly Pressed.

  29. Miss Lydia says:

    wow i want to live in there.

  30. Scribbler says:

    I would love to come here. There are some who like plots and stories. I do like those, but there is nothing more profound to me then words that are artfully arranged, sentences strung, the puzzle-pieces of a story woven. I must see this book store.

    Adieu, scribbler

  31. Jess says:

    I miss bookstores like these. This one looks like a gem. Thanks for haring!

  32. allyputt says:

    It’s not often that you find a small piece of literature pontificating on literature. Thank you for writing this.

  33. Jeff Nguyen says:

    I love book stores and libraries. I’d like to build a library in my house one day.

  34. What a cool bookstore! I am adding this to my road trip bucket list. I really enjoyed reading this post.

  35. Jessica says:

    I love bookstores. Especially ones like Booked Up, Inc. I also love words and well-written posts. This was well-written. Thank you!

  36. yosephvera says:

    wow, nice place to go next holiday #wish

  37. pezcita says:

    I can almost get that “old books” smell from your photos; they capture the mood so well. Thanks for reminding me to visit Toad Hall, a more nearby old books bookstore that I’ve been meaning to check out for years now. I want to visit this one someday too.

  38. d1p3n says:

    Simple writing & grt photographs
    Loved it.

  39. What wouldn’t I give to live in a place like this!! I really am glad that I am still sticking to paper backs and hard backs, rather than the one thin tablet from which you can read all the books in the world by just a touch on the screen.. Nothing, whatsoever, will ever be able to replace the smell and feel of a book in your hand. Lovely post!! :)

  40. Mart Dawson says:

    When I left school I was a apprentice printer and I printed some beautiful illustrated books. I have the utmost respect for old books and there is nothing like the smell of an old book and the feel of it. Its a shame that the digital book will replace printed books eventually. I always think that you achieve something when you have read the last page and close the cover, unlike turning your tablet off.

  41. Wow, I love books. When you’re drowned in a book, like sinking into a peaceful world, without any other temptation, material benefit or conflict.

  42. roweeee says:

    Just as well this book wonder is in America and I am an entire world away in Australia because I am starting salivate just at the prospect of all those wonderful books and the smell…Ah Almost as good as chocolate.
    This is a very beautifully written post. Well done.
    My husband and I are book collectors and just can’t help ourselves. It’s just a struggle trying to read them all and to make space for new books when we still love and collect the old ones.
    As much as I love books and reading and writing, I actually wrote a post today about playing the violin and how music expresses thoughts and feeling that can’t quite be put into words. You might enjoy it.

  43. I love being surrounded by books: all those thoughst that went into writing those words. It’s almost like you can hear the writers’ thoughts.

  44. redjim99 says:

    I always try to find an old bookshop whenever I visit somewhere, makes a great keepsake of the trip.


  45. mrsdeboots says:

    I want this to be my living room. I love books and I want tons and tons.

    This story is great, and filled with so many quotes I want to write down, for inspiration.

    Beautifully written.

  46. Colleen V says:

    This is a very beautiful post. I love book stores and the feel of a real book in my hands.

  47. 30and11 says:

    “filled with a cactus that’s thriving only because it can be ignored.” That was a great line! I LOVE books and was so happy to find this on freshly pressed. Cozy bookstores and huge libraries are my favorite places, it’s like you can feel adventures, and mysteries all awaiting discovery. i enjoyed reading and re-reading your post, it makes so want to print it out, great words deserve printing :)

  48. There really is nothing like a wonderful room full of books! Wonderful post!

  49. Lesley says:

    As a librarian-in-training, I really enjoyed this post! Congratulations on being Freshly Pressed!

  50. The vast number of books and coziness of the place reminds me of the beloved bookmobile back in the day!

    But what happens to folks that can’t afford a Kindle or even a smartphone on which to read books? What do they do if they get rid of all of the bookstores and/or libraries and everyone is required to download or read everything online?

  51. Phoenix says:

    I regret giving up so many books with all the moves I’ve done. However, I do have quite a few in storage at home. Waiting for my return to the States :) I feel a certain kinship with books that i just can’t explain. Loved reading this post, thanks for the inspiration!

  52. I do not think we will see brick and mortar bookstores vanish—not all of them. When cars replaced horses, horses didn’t vanish. When the radio appeared, there were predictions that newspapers would vanish. When TV arrived, the same thing was said of radio. The Internet may have hurt traditional publishers but today we have more independent, small presses popping up like flowers in spring. Today, thanks to POD (print on demand) and the e-book, if you ever dreamed of being a publisher/editor because you cannot find books you really want to read, you can make it happen easily and find authors to publish.

    There might not be as many bookstores but the ones that survive will be special. I think that we may see the end of big chain bookstores like Barnes & Noble but there will always be room for an independent bookstore like Booked Up, Inc. These individual book stores have personality and character. We go because they are like an old friend.

    In fact, once B&N is gone, we may see a revival of independents. Not like the glory days but still a revival.

    People still buy candles and how long have we had electric light bulbs?

    • rodalena says:

      Lloyd, I agree: the best things last. Things change and we now have many reading options at our disposal, but the addition of technology does not require the subtraction of the tangible written page. Thank you for your thoughtful comment.

  53. Jean says:

    Their personal library is like their own temple and they should enjoy it. I just hope the books do get read! I like to strike a balance these: just buy books that I truly will read. I’ve moved 3 times and lived in 3 different Canadian provinces. Each time had to cull, cull books that I never read. The books read 3 times –always treasured or I ensured it really had a new good home elsewhere.

    • Jean says:

      I should I am by training and career-wise, a librarian (until recently where now my job is planning for primarily electronic.). So I do understand the book world and also the pressures to be lighter in physical space storage… both in workplace and home.

  54. spooncave says:

    awesome post. i love books, and this made me think of how treasured they are to me.

  55. beingserbian says:

    I’ve moved around quite a bit in my life. Packing was always most traumatic when I needed to make decisions about which books to take and which to leave behind. This is going to sound horrible, but sometimes leaving books behind is worse than leaving people.

  56. CatherineTs says:

    beautiful, what a special find! funny how much joy one can get from even just looking at a well-stocked bookshelf (‘Unpacking My Library’ is excellent for that, have it on my coffee table!

  57. Evez says:

    Amazing! I wish I had such a huge collection of books :)

  58. That is amazing! I would probably get lost in there :D

  59. Hooray, another Texas road trip destination! This one’s on the list, now. Thanks for an enticing blog post about one of my favorite addictions.

  60. abichica says:

    I’d sure love to go to this place one day! Seems awesome! :-D

  61. Ponderlust says:

    Thanks for writing this — a post dedicated to not just the wonderful McMurtry, but also the romance of an aging industry.

  62. I would make this place my home if it was anywhere near me. Thanks for sharing.

  63. Food for the eyes, words for the heart – love the look of this place and love your words about it. There will never be anything like the physical form of books and walls of them.

  64. LV Lewis says:

    Reblogged this on L. V. Lewis and commented:
    I could live among all those books!

  65. Katie says:

    “A bookman’s love of books is a love of books, not merely of the information in them.” – so true, so true – and that is what is so hard for today’s world of techies to understand.

  66. This looks like the sort of place I could spend forever- me to books is like Homer Simpson to bacon…

  67. jensine says:

    You’d have to send in a retrieval team to get me out … bliss

  68. I have to be physically dragged out of regular bookstores by my friends whenever we go. I wonder what you would have to entice me with to get me out of this place. Sounds like heaven.

  69. adm22 says:

    I always feel a certain pull – maybe it’s more gratifying to see, at one time, everything I’ve read. I do have many ebooks and read using apps frequently. I have even published an ebook, but sometimes I just want to see a world filled with books in which to swim.

  70. Mike says:

    Your eloquent, interesting style evokes a must scent and a stray mote of dust almost caused me to sneeze. Very well done.

  71. samokan says:

    My dream place.. oh how I wish I live nearby …

  72. segmation says:

    Wow so many awesome books! Love your digital pictures! They are so colorful as well.

  73. Reblogged this on Notes in the Margins and commented:
    This is so cool!!

  74. Reblogged this on New American Gospel! and commented:
    – J.W.

  75. Pingback: Book Lover’s Paradise « Stuff Found

  76. I love books. I sometimes procrastinate on homework to read. I do own a Kindle, but I love to physically flip through pages of books!

  77. Chanodom says:

    it’s very Cool !!

  78. Great post and reading some of the comments too fills me with hope. There is NO WAY the print book is dead, with this many book lovers out there (me included of course) and I know some similar word treasure caves here in Scotland. Bless all the Larrys of this world – we need you guys!

    • rodalena says:

      It is so wonderful to read so many comments from people who love the printed page. You’re right: it is hopeful! Thanks for coming all the way from across the pond to read about Larry’s fantastic bookstore.

  79. there is so much comfort in being surrounded by books…the pleasure of reading them…they add to the touch and feel….hold the characters … the smell of the books….i could just spend days and days around and with them!!
    good post, congratulations!

  80. In this digital day and age, it’s a wonder that such places still exist. Perfect for the old fashioned and romantics at heart like me:-)

  81. suechienlee says:

    I just bought a Kindle Fire but I’ll always love the look, feel and smell of a good book. salud!

  82. ohehmjam says:

    Reblogged this on aymjam and commented:
    Oh hey there…LOOK!

  83. Lovely article :-) ! There was an antique bookshop where I live, but sadly it has shut down now. I enjoyed going in there, smelling the mustyness :-) and reading the hand inscriptions from years ago. I was a given a copy of Our Mutual Friend by Charles Dickens (which no doubt was from there) and some writing in black ink told me it was a christmas present for someone from 1888!

  84. Chas Spain says:

    Superb – lovely sprinkling of quotes. There is information and then there is exploration and discovery and places like this are for the latter. The starting at the front and journeying mind and soul into something unexpected and – as you and some others here have said – that wonderful sense of time slowing down.

  85. praguebeats says:

    Really nicely written article. Makes me feel kinda proud I haven’t entered the kindle world yet. I just love the feel of a book in my hand and the pictures you have in your article just fill my heart. Love places like this. Adam

  86. Oh, the hunt for a great book in the meandering maze of well loved bookstore. Might have to go explore! Thanks for taking me on this little journey, it makes me want to go to our local treasure – Changing Hands Bookstore.

  87. Jeff says:

    The sad thing is, I live just a few hours from this place, and have NEVER been there! I must make a trip up there someday. And look at you! Getting all “Freshly Pressed!” Congratulations!

  88. rkb665 says:

    There is nothing like a bookstore for whiling away the hours.

  89. Great written piece! Never judge a bookstore by its cover :)

  90. 4myskin says:

    Now I have a reason to visit Texas. Thanks for sharing!

  91. Soul Walker says:

    I may have cried a little reading this. You speak of beautiful things that touch my heart. Words deserve paper, like some sort of sacrifice was required for greatness. I will have to go to Texas and see this place with my own eyes.

  92. SELAHbrate says:

    A haven of treasures nurturing the adventurous spirit of a seeker! Your reflection inspired me to cherish books more!

  93. Al Kline says:

    And I thought you were writing about Barnes and Nobles? Great post.

  94. I thought I heard he had sold out a year or two ago–or did he just whittle it down a little?

  95. hookandply says:

    Looks a wonderful place :-) )

  96. What a great story, glad to find it on freshly pressed. I live in a very small town that supports one small bookstore, recently it was on the market and the town came together with many ideas of how to keep it going. Luckily there are still those who love to sit down with a good book and turn the papery pages and those who can appear and make it their work to run a bookstore. Convenience is nice but the real deal is my favorite, even if it is just to sit and look at all the books on my shelf and remember each story and where it took me.

  97. I live in Indonesia and it’s kind of not-so-easy to find great books here without passionate willingness for what seems to be an endless quest. We have many established modern bookstores, containing a vast number of new books, which are mostly nonsense and amateurish. It is mostly in the places which look like abandoned bookshops in the middle of that sort of traditional Asian markets can one find abundant treasures of classical or even ancient amazing books. I concur that nothing’s better in reading great books by touching it. Nice post rodalena.

  98. What a great piece! You just articulated the thoughts of a reticent, budding bibliophile. Can’t thank you enough. :)

  99. ajeenaalex says:

    A complete paradise with a number of angels!!!! already feeling heavenly!!!!!

  100. alnic2013 says:

    Oh My Word! This sounds like like my idea of heaven! Have a look at my Blog and you will see what I mean! Pity I am so far away in Africa otherwise i would probably never leave the shop! I loved reading about it. thank you – Nikki

  101. abigler42 says:

    Your story makes me want to fly there and roll around in all those wonderful books! I would love to learn more about that background of the owners. I can imagine a great deal of stories played out inside those walls of books. Thank you for writing this excellent piece!

  102. Thanks for writing this; books are the essence of absorbing knowledge and necessary for everyone!

  103. ffablife says:

    Inspiring. I’m glad to know there’s a place like this that still exists. My dream is to have a library in my home- floor to ceiling- filled with all the books I’ve read over the years.

  104. Great Post! I first read about Larry McMurtry’s book store several years back. I think in “Walter Benjamin at the Dairy Queen”, and I’ve wanted to make the road trip there ever since. It must smell like heaven.

  105. mavmel says:

    I think there’s definitely room for both! Records have not disappeared with the advent of tapes, CDs, or online music, why would books? Libraries are evolving with technology but they won’t go away. I agree with you, love to carry my favorites with me easily (kindle) but love to have some (alright many) hard copies around my home! Really enjoyed reading your piece, great choice of words!

  106. Sally Rides says:

    I love write, just as I love REAL books. I have vowed not to help lead towards their demise by not purchasing a Kindle or other such tablet – though I must admit my resolve is wearing thin. Thanks for sharing your love of books with us!

    • rodalena says:

      I think there is room to love both options. But, the weight of a book will always win with me. :)

      • Sally Rides says:

        Everyone I know who has one, loves theirs. I just see a sad ending to the book world we love. And what happens when they are all gone and the power grid is over burdened and crashes? I know, that is a long stretch – but it is how this ole lady feels. :)

  107. luaydpk says:

    good post! I love books, history, art and literature..

  108. tommiaw says:

    A wonderful read indeed. Another place for a bibliophile’s enjoyment is Powell’s Bookstore in Portland – literally the ‘city of books.’

  109. Seriously.! I can’t read on kindle or phones… Physical existence of book delights me. The pages, the smell, the bookmark. :)

  110. JNYnita says:

    Reblogged this on JNY's Link and commented:
    Sooo much book!!

  111. More places like this need to exist. As a lover of books I am on a mission to find places like this near where I live!

  112. This place sounds really magical! I’d love to visit someday and lose myself in the place!! Well written post! Utterly enjoyed reading it!

  113. tommiaw says:

    Reblogged this on Tommia's Tablet and commented:
    Paradise for bookaholics can be found in many places – where are your favorite locations?

  114. Atom says:

    It is good to know people still love books. The feel you get when you read a book is unparallel. It is my greatest wish to setup a place like this and grow old there.

  115. any place with lots of books is a happy place. :)

  116. Tia888 says:

    Thank you for sharing this!
    So many books!

  117. So comforting to read this blog – there is no place I’d rather be than a place full of real books. I live in London and often find it so much more enjoyable to walk into a second-hand bookshop like Oxfam than the more commercial ones. The place you have described sounds idyllic. I’ve never been to the States but if I were to visit Booked Up, they would have a job and a half getting me out of there…..that is if they find me, amidst the piles of books that will no doubt surround me.

  118. jimceastman says:

    Well written and heartwarming post! I can relate well with your blog. I love the feeling of owning books because it has therapeutic health benefits. Reading books is an enriching feeling too. We can go from one place to another and we can definitely got more advantages in providing information that leads to knowledge. I always make sure I find time fitting reading into my busy life!

  119. I do not use e-books…..something bout flipping the pages of a real book just makes me enjoy it more….

  120. bunnyisms says:

    Wow!! I just love real books. I remember getting an ereader more than 12 years ago. I just never got used to it, and I continued reading and getting real paper books as I always did. I also love sometimes marking up the margins of one copy so that I can make it mine. Especially if I can find another copy easily. Books can be so amazing. <3

  121. buy1waytoday says:

    I think reading a book is more inviting because I can turn the pages just like the author did when he or she was writing it, I can feel the passion as the author did, I can get in to the story so much more deeply.

    Thank You

  122. Kristy Speer says:

    I just completed my first book it’s being published and will be available for purchase in October this year. My biggest worry is not feeling it in my hand: a real book, and that only the ebooks will sell. It’s depressing and frightening as a new comer author. Is it only me that fears this?

    • rodalena says:

      No, Kristy. I can imagine a lot of authors feel just as you do. Congratulations on your accomplishment!

      • Kristy Speer says:

        Thanks it’s been a dream since very early in my childhood! I still buy my books but with all the recent book store closings it feels sad. I love the smell of a book store how it sparks your mind into action as you thumb through and find that “perfect” book to buy!!

  123. This was a satisfying post for the book lover in me. I love pictures of rooms lined with books, so I enjoyed your photos immensely. And, your choice of Lonesome Dove quotes makes me want to revisit the book. Well done!

  124. susanne287 says:

    Reblogged this on susanne287 and commented:
    A place to visit if you love books!

  125. Denise Hisey says:

    An oasis in the desert!
    Reminds me of Powell’s Books in Portland, Ore.

  126. Reblogged this on bizGENIUS with Sonia Myers and commented:
    This one should be of interest to certain book lovers and reviewers who shall remain nameless, Alan :)

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  128. V says:

    If only they had a spot like that in every city in the world.

  129. socialshan says:

    This is an excellent read. There is nothing like holding a book or smelling a book. I have a kindle and I feel guilty every time I use it. When I was little thanks to the film, “You’ve got mail” I always dreamed of owning my own book store. I’m glad there are places out there where people can go and actually experience books…not just the words on the pages, but the objects themselves.

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  131. WOW – Books Galore – I can almost smell the books – love exploring book stores and libraries in my travels!!! Thanks for sharing – Congrats on being FP:)

  132. latifamajedi says:

    Wonderful post….seriously nothing can ever replace books….personally, I enjoy holding the book rather than reading on those electronic devices, it feels different!!

  133. Reblogged this on booksandwonderfulthings and commented:
    Ummmm, I want to go. So. Many. Books.

  134. jazperjay says:

    I l♥ve your post! Good job!
    and I love books too! :D

  135. What an excellent and well-written post — and I love the accompanying photos, too. Thanks for writing this.

    BTW – I don’t feel like it has to be a choice between the analog or the digital. I think both provide a utility, and depending on one’s situation, a book might not be the right tool for job.

    It’s probably an aesthetic issue for those who prefer books; a really good book deserves to be jacketed in some really good packaging. I have noticed that I’m more drawn to, or drawn back to a book if its packaging rouses my curiosity. The same is true for other media, as well. For others, it’s a sensory fetish for the tactile interface. I understand both of these fixations, and am thoroughly guilty on both counts. For if tomorrow, you told me there was a pill I could take to keep warm in the bitterest of climates, I still wouldn’t throw out my favorite knitwear or jackets; if you told me I could print up a strip of flavor-impregnated paper that tasted essentially identical to my favorite red, I still wouldn’t opt for it over the bottle on the shelf.

  136. Reblogged this on Lauren Hailstone and commented:
    This paradise as undoubtedly earned itself a place on my bucket list!

  137. josephhj says:

    Reblogged this on Reworking Joseph and commented:
    Books are somewhere I have grown up with and love. A space where I can explore and escape to or draw inspiration from. Like photographs of memorable moments I hold dear many books that signify and shape moments from my life… I wonder if you have a list too?

  138. Reblogged this on nimbyinternational and commented:
    “People who love words…” beautiful. Books by design, for those that can not bear to let them go. I get it 100%. And I want to live surrounded by books… Well, at least in a few rooms. A book in every room makes a place feel like home. And surrounds me with greatness.

  139. I have an Kindle Fire – and love how I can have books almost instantly – get bargains that I might not see at all or until I visit a book shop. It’s great as I live in the middle of nowhere so don’t have to travel miles to get books any more. But it is next to useless in my sunny conservatory where I prefer sit in my comfy chair to read in the Winter. I can hardly see the screen for reflection – so I still have to return to a good old fashioned paperback. And I actually find it slow to load the internet. Not over impressed to be honest. So I guess we just have to have both!

  140. Reblogged this on The Unapologetic Redhead and commented:
    I love old bookstores like this!

  141. writersideup says:

    Oh, the joy in reading this headline, viewing the “weighty” photographs and reading the rich words! I am truly a lover of tangible books and always will be! We love our technology, but can’t rely on it. There’s NOthing like the look and feel of actual books—oh, the covers, the feel of the pages, the richness and comfort of ink on paper. I can’t imagine preferring reading on the computer (yes, I do a lot of it, but not fiction!) or an ereader, and to be so reliant on electricity! I can’t imagine having all my reading material locked insided something that requires electricity. And what of bookshelves? Empty?! EGADS! Yay for Brick & Mortar Bookstores! Yay, Larry!!! :)

  142. Jay Preston says:

    I’ve been (I thought) all over Texas and never ran across Archer City, but I will this is to good to pass. My daughter has been trying to buy me a (reading machine) but she knows I love the books better. As a friend use to say “There is nothing like curling up and reading a good book or
    with some one who has”. Larry has captured the old book store image that is long lost, bless him. I’ll find this place and spend some long enjoyable hours enjoying the time with books.
    The Italian One.

  143. marycheshier says:

    You are welcome!

You look like you want to say something. Go right ahead.