Because my family loves to take road trips, loves books, is a little crazy and the price of gas is comfortably back below $2 a gallon, we took a two-day road trip to Archer City Texas, the home of Larry McMurty's used book store, Booked Up. McMurty is the author of Lonesome Dove and The Last Picture Show among many other books. He's also been in the used book business for over 30 years.
Along the way we stopped in the Texas Ranger Museum in Waco Texas. If you're wondering why the Texas Ranger Museum is in Waco and not Arlington, its because it's this kind of Texas Ranger.
Archer City has a population of about 1,800 and is the very definition of a small Texas town. But its a viable town, as it is also the county seat for Archer County. There are 3 banks in town plus a Sonic (the only place to get dinner unless you drive 25 miles to Witchita Falls), 3 gas stations, and several other businesses. Here is what downtown looks like. I didn't include a photo but just to the left is the county courthouse.
The movie The Last Picture Show was filmed here, which is also McMurty's home town. The movie theatre which was featured in the film is still standing. They don't show movies there any longer but have live shows throughout the year.
Booked Up is one of the largest used book stores in the country. It used to be located in Georgetown VA but moved here some years ago. I estimate that they have about a half a million books scattered through 5 buildings. Here is my daughter standing between rows of shelves in Building 4. There is row after row like this throughout this building and the other 4.
We spent about $100 in the 2-3 hours we were actually in the store. With several stops, it took us 12 hours to get there but only 8 hours to get home.