Another good store I ran across in my book-hunting days was The Book Swap, in
on the north side of North Richland Hills . It was located in an old, small strip shopping center, next to a sewing machine store, if I recall correctly. And when you went in, the space was crammed full of shelves of paperbacks with narrow aisles between them. My kind of place, in other words. Fort Worth
But it got better. As you worked your way to the back, more and more rooms somehow opened up off the main one. I finally figured out that they ran behind some of the other businesses in the building. Those rooms were packed just as full as the one in front, but they had the better stuff, as far as I was concerned: the mystery, Western, and science fiction sections.
The stock was a mixture of vintage paperbacks and newer stuff, and the owner's pricing system was complicated enough that I never quite made sense of it. It wasn't strictly half of the cover price, but it worked out close to that except on the older books, which did have a minimum (50 cents, I seem to recall, but it may have been a dollar). Nor was the condition of most of the older books great, but most of them were in decent shape and certainly readable, which is why I wanted them anyway, to read. I hardly ever left there without a grocery sack full of stuff.
Like some other stores, though, The Book Swap was on the wrong side of town (and don't get me wrong, I mean that in a traffic sense) for us to get there except every so often. And the busier our lives got during the Eighties and Nineties, the less often I went there. But about six years ago, I was on my way back from
with one of my daughters and thought I'd take a quick side trip down to the bookstore. Dallas
When we got there, the lot was empty. Obviously, the shopping center had been bulldozed and completely cleared away. If the bookstore had a going-out-of-business sale, I missed it. If it moved somewhere else, I missed that, too. It's not anywhere around here, I know that. I don't know what, if anything, is standing in that location today. I haven't been back.
Of course, that wasn't the only disappointment that day. We also planned to stop at a place that had really good pie, and when we got there, it was out of business, too. Dang. Some days you just can't win.