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Larry McMurtry's Reflections on the 'Last Book Sale'

by Jerome Weeks 11 Sep 2012 10:26 AM

Ironic. The best-selling novelist couldn’t sell novels worth a darn.


In case you hadn’t noticed, Larry McMurtry held a huge auction last month to get rid of some 300,000 books at his Archer City establishment, Booked Up — and it got national attention. “For three days, I gave continuous interviews,” he writes in the Sept. 27th issue of The New York Review of Books. The full article is behind a pay wall, but he was pleased with the sale in the way it seemed to ‘seed the clouds’ of other antiquarian booksellers.

Except in one area:

Everything sold but the fiction. Everyone who deals in fiction has plenty, and more is spilling onto the market from the sale of the Serendipity Bookshop stock now being dispersed on the West Coast.

Many people asked me if I was sad to see so many books go. I wasn’t — mainly I was irritated to discover that I still had 30,000 novels to sell.