Jaleigh’s post yesterday reminded me about my first big bookstore, the Bookstop in downtown Houston.
Before it opened in the mid/late 80s, we had a small bookstore in a nearby strip mall, and Waldenbooks and B. Dalton at the mall. The Bookstop, built in a former 1939 Art Deco movie theater, with the seats replaced by bookshelves so the whole thing was sloped downward towards one end, was huge in comparison. My brother and I loved browsing the science fiction section, which our small local store didn’t have much of.
The newsstand is in front of the screen. Credit: Susan Batterman on flickr
I had to google the store to remember the name, and learned that it closed in 2009 after about 25 years, and reopened as a larger Barnes & Noble in a different location.
I commented yesterday that bookstores will probably always be around, but smaller. Our Borders closed (the building is now a liquor store), so we have a B&N and a used book store downtown. Possibly a few other smaller used book stores that I don’t know about.
Of course, since most of the books I buy these days are ebooks, from stores with larger selections than I could have imagined back then, I shouldn’t complain too much. I want bookstores to stick around for browsing, writing in the coffee shop, and so I can see a book with my name on it on the shelf someday. But I don’t actually buy books there anywhere near as much as I used to. The girl who went to the movie theater bookstore for the first time would be shocked.