Since I attended a family event in the Dallas Metroplex over the 1/15/10-1/17/10 weekend, I took the opportunity to do something I had long wanted to do: Visit Larry McMurtry’s Booked-Up book store (actually spread across four buildings) in Archer City.
The drive itself (a solid five hours) completely redefined my “ass end of nowhere” scale. It’s pretty far away from anything else, so only serious bibliophiles need apply.
As for the store itself, there’s a huge amount of stuff for a general book hunter to look for (especially in areas like pamphlets, foreign language books, Texana, literary criticism, and probably several others), but not a whole lot of SF/F/H. I found about $50 worth of stuff, most of it in the general fiction section.
Then I drove to Recycled Books in Denton, and bought $1,200+ worth of stuff (and that was after my dealer discount).
By contrast, I found very little of interest at the main Half Price Books just of 75 in Dallas; all they seemed to have were multiple copies of very common titles. (I did a lot better when they were in a smaller building just down the block, the one with the boat-shaped section in the middle of the store.) Maybe their non-fiction section is more worth browsing.
Below is the list of books I’m adding to my own library, including items from Recycled Books, Booked Up, and a three different Half Price Books. All of these are Fine/Fine first edition hardback copies, unless otherwise noted:
- Ash, Brian. Who’s Who in Science Fiction. Elm Tree, 1976.
- Beagle, Peter S. The Folk of the Air. Del Rey, 1986.
- Bear, Greg. Beyond Heaven’s River. Dell, 1980. PBO. VG+. Also have the hardback.
- Bear, Greg. Quantico. HarperCollins (UK), 2005.
- Blaylock, James P. The Rainy Season. Ace, 1999.
- Brunner, John. No Future in It. Gollancz, 1962.
- Cherry, C. J. Voyager in Night. DAW, 1984. (Book club and only hardback.)
- De Camp, L. Sprague. Solomon’s Stone. Avalon, 1957.
- Emshwiller, Carol. Joy in Our Cause. Harper & Row, 1974.
- Franzen, Charles. Cold Mountain. Fine/Fine save for name written inside. Pulitzer Prize winner that I’d been looking for for several years, and an example of why you look at 199 copies of an otherwise common book to see if each is a first edition, because that 200th copy just might be it…
- Jackson, Shirley. Come Along With Me. Viking, 1968. Fine in a Near Fine- dj with price sticker on inner flap and very shallow (less than 1/32″) chipping at head and heel.
- Koontz, Dean R. (as Leigh Nichols). Shadowfires. Avon, 1987. Book club and first hardback edition.
- Kornbluth, C. M. Christmas Eve. Michael Joseph, 1956.
- Lafferty, R. A. The Devil is Dead. Gregg Press, 1978. Replaces a more worn copy in my library.
- Le Guin, Ursula. Rocannon’s World. Garland Press, 1975. First hardback edition, Fine, sans dj, as issued.
- Lupoff, Pat & Dick. The Best of Xero. Tachyon Publications, 2004.
- Malzberg, Barry. In the Stone House. Arkham House, 2000.
- Moorcock, Michael. The Lives and Times of Jerry Cornelius. Alison & Busby, 1976.
- Moorcock, Michael. The Lives and Times of Jerry Cornelius. HAARP, 1987. (Contents differ from the above.)
- Morrow, James. The Wine of Violence. Holt, Reinhardt & Winston, 1984.
- Mundy, Talbot. The Purple Pirate. Gnome Press, 1959. (First Gnome Press edition.)
- Niven, Larry & Jerry Pournelle. Oath of Fealty. Phantasia Press, 1981. One of 750 signed, numbered copies, Fine/Fine in slipcase.
- Pratt, Fletcher. Well of the Unicorn. William Sloane, 1948. Fine/Near Fine dj, with review slip laid in.
- Sheckley, Robert. Journey Beyond Tomorrow. Gollancz, 1964. First hardback.
- Sheckley, Robert. Mindswap, Delacorte Press, 1966. Signed.
- Standish, David. Hollow Earth: The Long and Curious History of Imagining Strange Lands, Fantastical Creatures, Advanced Civilizations, and Marvelous Machines Below the Earth’s Surface. De Capo, 2006.
- Temple, WIlliam F. 88 Gray’s Inn Road. Sansato Press (AKA Ferret Fantasy), 2000. Roman-a-clef that features a thinly-disguised Arthur C. Clarke (who provides the introduction) as a character, with Clarke’s signature plate affixed to the FFE, reportedly one of only 50 such copies. Replaces the trade edition in my library.
- Wilhelm, Kate. Juniper Time. Harper & Row, 1979.
- Vance, Jack. Bird Isle/Take My Face. Underwood/Miller, 1988. One of 500 signed, numbered sets in slipcase.
- Vance, Jack. The Dark Side of the Moon. Underwood/Miller, 1986. One of 200 signed/numbered copies. Replaces a trade copy I’ll sell via my next Lame Excuse For a Book Catalog (in preparation).
- Vance, Jack. Trullion: Alastor 2262. Ballantine Books, 1973. (PBO)
- Waggoner, Diana. The Hills of Faraway A Guide to Fantasy. Atheneum, 1978.
- Williamson, Jack. Wonder’s Child: My Life in Science Fiction. Bluejay, 1984.
- Williamson, Jack (& E. C. Tubb). The Iron God (& Tomorrow). Gryphon Double Novel, 1999. TPO.
- Zelazny, Roger. Bridge of Ashes. Gregg Press, 1979. (Replaces my Ex-Library copy.)
- Zelazny, Roger. Nine Princes in Amber. Doubleday, 1970. An Ex-Library copy, but cleaner than the Ex-Library copy previously in my collection.
I also found a bunch more books that are going in this month’s Lame Excuse Books catalog.
So, if you’re going to be book shopping in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area, by all means visit Recycled Books, which seems to be the best used bookstore in Texas. Visit Booked Up if you have the time to drive out that way, but the SF selection is fairly poor.