Besides being a great writer, Larry McMurtry is a great bookseller.
The story of The Last Book Sale is a moderately long but fully fascinating: McMurtry wrote it up for the NYRB blog. Suffice to say that in August, McMurtry sold off the contents of several of his bookstores, to make sure he didn't burden his heirs. About 300,000 books he sold. But he's still in business, and still has plenty of books for sale — at least 100,000. He grumbled:
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 Books 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.
Great pic, too, of the writer, who has become as curmudgeonly as some of his characters. Wish I could have gone to the sale. Would like to see him at his store in Archer City someday. If the fates smile.
"I have seen a lot of various levels of book-dealing and am hard to surprise."