We hot-footed it to Albuquerque the next morning and arrived at our friend's wonderful house where we took a much needed break from the road and got oriented a bit. Albuquerque, according to our friend, was just voted one of the cleanest cities in the country. The architecture is primarily adobe and it has a terrific cultural community in which our friends are quite involved. Two of our kids live in Albuquerque; our grown daughter is about to graduate from University of New Mexico.
So where, we asked our friends who read a LOT, is the best bookstore? They gave us a whole list of the town's bookstores, but recommended we make our first foray to The Book Stop on Nob Hill. We called the owner, Jerry Lane, and he kindly offered to take us to coffee and put up with my tape recorder. Jerry is so typical of the really good bookmen I have known! He has been in the business for almost thirty years and knows his way around the crazy book business. In those years, he has moved six times and is getting ready to move again, just down the street, for the seventh time. The building in which The Book Stop is housed is being renovated for yet another spa.
Jerry's store is like most of our stores; so many books, so little space! And his books are high quality from mid to lower price all the way up to some wonderfully scarce stuff with a nice collection on Western History (well, he is in Albuquerque, after all).
I asked Jerry how he got into the book business. He told us that the Albuquerque store was related to one of the same name in Tucson which was owned for twenty-five years by his partner, Lori Allen. She sold the Tucson Book Stop to her employees and retired to California. Jerry and Lori were friends in the 1970s and he never finished college or had a specific career goal in mind so he and Lori opened the Albuquerque Book Stop and pulled about 10,000 books out of the Tucson store to start up.