Larry McMurtry’s fascinating and surprisingly intimate memoir of his lifelong passion of buying, selling, and collecting rare antiquarian books is “a necessary and marvelous gift” (San Antonio Express-News).
Spanning a lifetime of literary achievement, Larry McMurtry has succeeded at a wide variety of genres, from coming-of-age novels, such as The Last Picture Show; to essays, like those in In a Narrow Grave;to the reinvention of the “Western” on a grand scale like the Pulitzer Prize–winning Lonesome Dove. Here at last is the private McMurtry writing about himself as a boy growing up in a largely “bookless” world, as a young man devouring the world of literature, as a fledgling writer and family man, and above all as one of America’s most prominent “bookmen.” He brings the reader along on his journeys to becoming an astute and adventurous collector who would eventually open book stores of rare and collectible books in Georgetown, Houston, and finally in his previously “bookless” hometown of Archer City, Texas.
Reading Books is like reading the best kind of diary—full of wonderful anecdotes, amazing characters, spicy gossip, and shrewd observations. Like its author, Books is erudite, full of life, and full of great stories. Yet the most curious tale of all is the amazing transformation of a reluctant young cowboy into a world-class literary figure who has spent his life not only writing books, but rounding them up the way he once rounded up cattle. At once chatty, revealing, and deeply satisfying, Books is Larry McMurtry at his best.
Larry McMurtry (1936–2021) was the author of twenty-nine novels, including the Pulitzer Prize–winning Lonesome Dove, three memoirs, two collections of essays, and more than thirty screenplays. He lived in Archer City, Texas.