Day 5 Wichita Falls Texas to Archer City Texas

An easy drive today. We visited Three Dog Books in Witchita Falls, which was a mix of second hand books, some new kids books, and antiques and collectables.

Then it was down the road to Archer City about 40km away south. The main reason for visiting Archer City, population 1848, was Larry McMurtry’s secondhand bookstore Booked Up. It’s actually spread across 4 buildings in the main street. Building 1 has the rare, signed, first editions and out of print books, the people who work there (2, i think) and the only cashier. If you want to buy anything from one of the other buildings, you have to take it across to Building 1 to pay for it.  The photo of me with Leo the cat was taken in the garage of Building 1. I’m standing in the Political Science section.

Judy amongst a few of the 300,000 or 400,000 books at Booked Up, with Leo the friendly bookstore cat

We also visited Building 4 today – cookbooks, biography, travel, business & finance. We each picked up a couple of books, but have been very restrained compared with previous trips to US bookstores. I bought Christopher Milne’s memoir, Beyond the World of Pooh ( he was A.A. Milne’s son, better known as Christopher Robin), and Feeding Frenzy, by an American who sets out to eat her way around Europe’s Michelin 3-starred restaurants. Greg bought George Stephanopoulos’s All Too Human and The End of Certainty by Australian journalist/author Paul Kelly.

Tomorrow we’ll visit Buildings 2 and 3 before heading to Dallas for a couple of days.

Tonight we’re staying at the Lonesome Dove Inn, which is a gorgeous 2-storey guest house just a couple of blocks from the main street. It used to be the town’s hospital, and we’re staying in the Desert Rose Room which was  the operating theatre and delivery room. It’s a lovely room, with big south-facing windows and a white-tiled floor. All the other rooms have carpet, but I’m glad the original white tiles have been left. Mary, the owner, has a policy of letting people who were born here when it was a hospital, stay for free in the Desert Rose Room on their birthday. She has had 3 people take her up on her offer.

We were also offered the Terms of Endearment suite, with king-sized bed and ensuite bathroom, or the Cadillac Jack room with twin beds.  The room next door to us is Hud’s Library, with single bed and lots of books, including a shelf full of signed first edition books by Larry McMurtry.

Oh, and Mr McMurtry is also a guest here this evening.

2 comments to Day 5 Wichita Falls Texas to Archer City Texas

  • Liz and Sean

    Hi Guys,
    Following your trip with great interest and in Sean’s case, envy! Staying in the same building as Larry McMurtry is the next best thing to staying in one housing Lois L’amour, in Sean’s eyes!
    Did the Buildings have any seats?
    Lots of Love, Liz and Sean
    P.S. Hoping to have Tom over for tea this week for his birthday depending on work schedules.

    • Judy

      Howdy Liz and Sean! Yes, the buildings all have seats … and tables, and ladders for reaching books on those very high shelves. We didn’t see any other cats apart from Leo who seems to reside in Building One.

      We had breakfast this morning with a couple from Lincoln, Nebraska, and they had spent 2 nights at the Lonesome Dove Inn. The morning before, they had breakfast with Ken Kesey’s widow (One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest) who had stayed at the Inn as McMurtry’s guest. Talk about US literary royalty! The guy from Nebraska is a professor and had been an English major at some stage. He was stoked!

      Thanks in advance for having Tom over to dinner. Give him a birthday hug from me!