The landscape of northern Arizona is so endlessly interesting and beautiful that I really wasn’t thinking of books at all. But books are where you find them and the true book lover is ever alert.
Marble Canyon is a tiny community (Wikipedia calls it “a populated place”) at the Navajo Bridge near Glen Canyon. A “wide place in the road” we would call it in the Midwest, but there’s a little services cluster of lodge/trading post/gas station. I get some gas and go into the station for a cold tea. What a surprise to find shelves of local interest books where one usually sees the beef jerky display.
I picked up a couple of histories of the Powell expedition and expressed my pleasure to the clerk. He beamed and gave himself a quick pat on the back. His doing, he said, and told us that he stocks a really big selection next door in the Trading Post. He did not exaggerate; it was an excellent collection of regional interest titles.
One of my favorite bookstores anywhere is Maria’s Bookshop, an essential stop in our periodic visits to Durango. It’s not especially large, it doesn’t feel overcrowded, yet the collection is so well chosen that I always find something unexpected and interesting.
The Southwest Book Trader is another favorite in Durango. This used book store might be the archetype of the “pack ’em and stack ’em” style. One threads the paths carefully through several rooms that, quite literally, could not hold another volume. Probably. We browsed a while and selected half a dozen or so interesting titles, brushing off a little soot from the smokestack of the famous Durango-Silverton Railroad steam engine. All part of the charm, as is conversation with George, the longtime bookseller and teller of tales.