Lonesome Dove Author Created a Giant Bookstore in This Texas Town

Lonesome Dove Author Created a Giant Bookstore in This Texas Town

Archer City, Texas is home to one of the most famous authors of all time, Larry McMurtry. He is most recognized for his Pulitzer Prize-winning novel “Lonesome Dove.” However, he has written many other successful titles such as “The Last Picture Show” and “Terms of Endearment.” After success with his bookstore Booked Up in Georgetown, Washington D.C., McMurtry brought his store home with him to Archer City. With a dream to turn his hometown into one big bookstore, McMurtry bought up real estate on the town’s square where he housed hundreds of thousands of books. By the time he was finished he had filled four stores with new, used, antiquated, and rare titles, bringing a reading audience from all over the U.S. to the tiny Texas town.

Lonesome Dove Author Created a Giant Bookstore in This Texas Town

Photo: @Lesia.Skywalker via Twenty20

McMurtry’s dream, however, did not flourish like he’d hoped. In 2012, McMurtry had to downsize to keep the bookstore open. He planned an event called, “The Last Book Auction” where he sold 300,000 books in three days. He sold more books in one day than he had sold with all four stores combined.

“Booked Up” now consists of two stores. Archer City was uncertain if the small ranching community would survive without the many bookstores. Although the auction seemed like an ending to the town’s and McMurtry’s dream, the bookstore is still in business and many fans still come to the small town to wander through the pristine bookstore.

McMurtry continues to write best-selling books, and he has his own private collection in his home in Tucson where he lives with wife Faye and six dogs. The private library consists of 28,000 of McMurtry’s favorite books. They are stored in sixteen rooms filled with bookcases from the floor to the ceiling.

Have you visited Archer City, the hometown of famed Texas author Larry McMurtry? Tell us about your adventure!

Written by Deborah Hall