Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Gulf Coast Bookstore Destoryed

Tragedy stuck the Mississippi Gulf Coast last night when a section of Old Biloxi known as the Vieux Marche burned. Three businesses were destroyed including the venerable bookstore Spanish Trail Books.

The bookstore started out in Ocean Springs in the 1970s and later moved to Biloxi. It featured antique and rare books as well as hard to find reference books. In the days before the internet and Amazon, bookstores like these either had the rare books you were seeking or networked to find the tome for the discriminating customer. With the loss of Spanish Trail Books, the Gulf Coast loses not only a fine bookstore, but also a repository of thousands of books of all kinds and a vanishing way of life, the independent, privately owned bookstore.

This hits me hard since I had been visiting Spanish Trail Books off an on for decades and coupled with the loss of many private SF & F collections from Hurricane Katrina. Each shop and collection lost diminishes us and fandom.

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