When I was a teenager in the late 70’s, I would take the bus downtown. Downtown Fort Worth was just beginning a rebirth, not the least of which included the Water Gardens, where scenes of Logan’s Run were filmed. Thompson’s Bookstore was nearby, and this was always my first destination, with the Water Gardens being my second.
When I came with friends, which happened from time to time, we would enter the store and I didn’t see them until it was time to leave. It was a place to go and be surrounded by the books and the stories and the characters. It was… special and intimate. It was for me, and I didn’t share it with anyone else.
I have a very fond memory of buying a paperback copy of Logan’s Run at Thompson’s and then going to the Water Gardens to read it. Sitting in view of the Active Pool where Logan and Jessica surfaced in the movie, I opened the book. Under the shade of a large conifer, I was immersed in William F. Nolan’s story, the ambient sound of artificial waterfalls lulling me deeper into Logan’s dystopian world.
Thompson’s Bookstore was a book-lover’s dream. I didn’t even know I was a book lover at this young point in my life. A confused boy, I knew I hated school and that I loved learning, two things that could not have been more at odds. Within the reverent quiet of the bookstore, I was lost – completely engulfed in the thousands and thousands of possibilities that surrounded me on the shelves.
900 Houston Street – The building was constructed around 1910. It had once housed a hotel and the upper floors had later been used for offices. On the street level, a pharmacy had followed, and then a clothing store and a coffee shop. Wards Cut-rate Drugs was a tenant for a long time, but in 1973, Thompson’s Book Store occupied the space. And then it stopped, sometime in the late 80’s.
Thompson’s Book Store is not well documented on the Internet, except by this site: My Violated Memory
What I want to convey is that Thompson’s Bookstore represented something to me. To walk through its doors, I knew I was left to explore and discover on my own, in the multiple rooms and levels of the store, all filled to the ceiling with books. Even the smell of a bookstore like that feels like home to me.
Now, it is gone. I have Amazon. At least I can browse Amazon in my underwear. That is something I couldn’t do at Thompson’s Bookstore, so it’s not all bad. I guess.
Did you have a special bookstore that is no longer there?
What happened to it?
How did that make you feel?