Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Mapping Future Bookshop Migration Patterns

by Sarah Marine

Come August, I will be living in a town 71miles from the nearest indie bookshop. In preparation I have been mapping the routes to Three Dog Books & Booked Up in Archer City, Texas, The Bookseller in Ardmore, Oklahoma and Full Circle Bookstore in Oklahoma City. Full Circle Books seems to be the most similar to Schwartz/Boswell and if you click through to their website prepare for heart palpitations as the floor to ceiling bookshelves are clearly adorned with wheeled ladders.

Also, in preparation, I have begun to compile a summer reading list to help prepare for the culture and clime, which will prove to be a far cry from the East Side Milwaukee shores of Lake Michigan. I'm currently reading Dirt Music by Tim Winton and am beginning to fear that my mind, that which has difficulty wrapping itself around even an eighty-degree day, has begun to morph what little I know of OK environs with that of northern Australia.

The reading list so far includes:
Great Plains by Ian Frazier
O Pioneers! by Will Cather
Books on Trial: Red Scare in the Heartland by Shirley Wiegand
Ancient Child by N. Scott Momaday
Falling Dark by Tim Tharp
something/anything by Larry McMurtry

The closest bookshop according to Indiebound is Larry McMurtry's Booked Up in Archer City, TX. There is a superb 2007 article about the man and his shop here. The website for Booked Up also includes a FAQ section. I chose a couple examples to share with you:

Q. When will Mr. McMurtry be here?
A. At his whim.

Q. Where are Mr. McMurtry's books?
A. We no longer sell any of his work.

Q. Will he sign a book I bring in?
A. He is not signing at this time.

I like curmudgeons.


  1. i've just finally read that interview and i want to go to Archer City, Texas right now.

    great goodness, it'll be an adventure coming to see you folks.

    PLUS, "Lonesome Dove" was highly recommended to me by my Calculus teacher in high school, also the person who convinced me to read the Fountainhead. so far i've passed it off as a cowboy story, but suddenly i want to read it immediately.

  2. Sarah:

    Add to your reading list The Worst Hard Time by Timothy Egan -- a gripping overview of the dust bowl era. I'd also recommend Joe Klein's biography of Woody Guthrie, which begins with a crazy woman setting herself on fire.

  3. Oh man, I totally forgot that Woody Guthrie is from OK.