When I first moved to Dallas, 36 or so years ago, I lived in the venerable (and still there) Turtle Dove Apartments, off lower Greenville Avenue, behind the Granada Theater.
One of the things I liked to do was to walk up to Greenville and Mockingbird and then down a few blocks to a crackerjack used book store, Half-Price Books. I have a bad book addiction and the maze-like selection of rooms chock-full of tomes of all types was an irresistible draw.
Is there anything more evocative than the paper-and-mold smell of a used book store?
Over the decades I moved and so did the store. It kept outgrowing its present digs and, like a gigantic paper hermit crab, shed its shell and found larger quarters. It moved north to Northwest Highway, settling in to an old Captain’s Cargo store – leaving it with two incongruous sailing vessel type stairways (that location is torn down and an REI landed on the spot).
My addiction was as strong as ever and one day I went to the place only to find giant “Closed” signs plastered all over. Sadly, I turned to my car only to spot giant streamers and “Half-Price Books New Location” signs across the street in a giant new building.
It’s the biggest used book store I’ve ever seen, in an open-plan of comfortable rows rather than the usual maze-like configuration. I’ve been to this big main store hundreds of times over the years, though I’m slowing down now as I try to get my inner hoarder under control and deal with the realization I have more books than I can read in the rest of my life.
Meanwhile, in another story, in 2012 Candy and I stumbled across a group of singers, a jam, at the Bar Belmont in West Dallas. I became their fan.
Over the years, Charli’s Jam has been forced to move around too. As their fan, I followed to various bars and other spots – and enjoyed most every place.
And now, they have settled in to the Big Main Half-Price. The same bookstore I’ve been hanging out in all these years. They perform on Sundays at three PM – I stopped by for a listen and to check out the new digs.
Other than the unavailability of alcohol… it seems like a sweet spot.