Thursday, January 12, 2012

Favorite Bookstores #6: The TV Repair Shop

Like The Old Man's Place, I'm sure this business had a real name, but I either never knew it or have forgotten it.  We called it The TV Repair Shop or sometimes The Other Old Man's Place, because the owner was an elderly gentleman who repaired television sets in the front part of the building, but probably 80% of the space was taken up by shelves and shelves of old used books.  This was on the near north side of Fort Worth, on Sylvania Avenue, I think.  I have a hunch the building is long gone, and I doubt if I could even find where it was.  Livia and I didn't go there very often; it wasn't on our regular circuit of used bookstores.  But when we did, I always found some good stuff.

Most of the books were what would now be considered vintage paperbacks.  Lots of Midwood and Beacon soft-core erotica novels.  If I'd only known then what I know now, I'd have probably bought more of those.  As it was, I picked up all the ones I found by Mike Avallone (who I was corresponding with at the time) and a few others, but I'm sure I passed up Orrie Hitt, Loren Beauchamp, Sheldon Lord, Edwin West, and others like that.  But the store had quite a few Gold Medals from the Fifties, especially Westerns, and I pretty much cleaned it out of those.  Early Avons by authors such as Harry Whittington (I remember I bought 69 BABYLON PARK there).  It was just a good assortment of Fifties-era paperbacks, with some newer stuff, mostly men's adventure, mixed in, too.

The old fellow who ran it was friendly, if not as colorful as George Snapka, the proprietor of The Old Man's Place.  The store was located in an old house, and I'm sure it had termite damage because the floors sagged in places and you had to be careful where you walked.  That just added to the place's personality as far as I was concerned.  I always enjoyed my visits there and wish I had gone more often.  As it is, it's another good memory of the days when bookstores like that were common (or a lot more common than they are now, anyway).


Anonymous said...

Great stuff. I like your blogs on your favorite bookstores. They remind me of my small town's stores. Thanks, Ed Lynskey

George said...

Ah, those were the days! I remember shops that sold "crafts" and books. Another small store in Canada sold pottery and paperback books. We also had a small gift store that had an impressive amount of books in the back. All gone...