Monday, July 16, 2012

Bookstore Nostalgia

I was running errands in Fort Worth today and drove along a two-block stretch of Camp Bowie Boulevard where four bookstores used to be located (not all at the same time, although there was some overlap): Fantastic Worlds, which I've written about before on this blog, where I bought a lot of books and comics and made a couple of friends I still have more than 30 years later; Books Etc., the first store to sell copies of my first novel TEXAS WIND (I traded some copies to the owner for some pulps, if I recall correctly); MegaBooks, one of those madhouses of a store where there was practically no organization but where you never knew what you might find if you were willing dig around; and Bricktop Books, which I visited only once but was run by a guy I knew from other used bookstores. Further up Camp Bowie one way was Century Bookstore, where I stopped a few times. Going the other way, out of town, there was a newsstand that was in business for years, where I bought comics and magazines and the occasional paperback, and two more used bookstores that I visited only once or twice, the names of which are gone from my memory. Today you can drive the entire length of Camp Bowie Boulevard, from near downtown to where it turns into Camp Bowie West and peters out between Fort Worth and Weatherford, and I'll bet you can guess how many bookstores you'll find.

That's right. Zero. Time marches on, I guess.


pattinase (abbott) said...

So so depressing. I was hoping you would say six.

Adventuresfantastic said...

A loss of bookstores is not progress. Most of the ones (other than Half Price) that I went to on the northeast side of the Dallas area are gone, too.

James Reasoner said...

Whenever Livia and I drive down to the Gulf Coast, it's more than 350 miles on some fairly major highways that pass through at least a dozen towns. And we don't go by one used bookstore the whole way. Last year when I was coming back home from ArmadilloCon in Austin, I passed what looked like a pretty good bookstore just south of Hamilton on US 281. But it was Sunday afternoon, so the place was closed and I couldn't stop. I meant to go back down there someday, just make a day trip out of it, but of course I've never taken the time to do it, and I don't know if the store's still there or not.

Oh, well, I don't really NEED any more books, do I?

Adventuresfantastic said...

I must be living a charmed life, because I've always lived close to one or two used bookstores, even if they weren't in the same town. There are at least five or six here in Lubbock at the moment. All independently owned, no chains like Half Price. Granted a couple don't have much selection, but still, it's better than nothing.