NOB HILL--If ever there was an ironic name for a business, The Book Stop would certainly have to be it. Yes, it has moved again. For the ninth time. Owner Jerry Lane says the latest move was caused by the "tsunami of high rent" that has swept over the Nob Hill area in the last few years.
Nevertheless, The Book Stop is still here and still in business. Jerry is setting up shop at 526B Washington NE, in a little strip mall just south of Lomas right between a dry cleaners and Bird Song Used Books. Jerry says he hasn't got the new place finished yet.
I looked around and there were boxes of books everywhere. Aisles were left in between the rows of boxes, but he definitely was not done unpacking. After looking around a bit more, I decided that the condition of his new store was not that different from that of his old store. Jerry always had more books than he knew what to do with.
I said that some of the boxes looked to be veterans of many a move. "Some of these boxes haven't been unpacked since the mid 80's," said Jerry. We reminisced a bit over some of his past locations.
Jerry's first location was the old Ben Franklin store in the Nob Hill Business Center, where Pardo's beauty salon is now. Then he moved over on Hermosa where an eye clinic is. He next moved into what is now the west room of the Central Ave. Flying Star. The Flying Star eventually needed the space so he moved across the alley into where The Slice Parlor pizza place is now located. Then he moved around the corner into the Tractor Brewing spot. Then he went down a bit on Silver next to Guiseppi's. And then into the Village at Nob Hill next to P'Tit Louis Bistro. And now finally into his new digs a 526B Washington NE.
The Outdoor Rack
Of all these locations, my favorites were the ones on Central Ave. Walking down the street on the way to get a cup of coffee and stopping to browse through his outdoor rack of dollar books was always entertaining and even inspiring. I often would stop in to see if Jerry had something in particular--like self-published New Mexico poets from the 1970's.
The Book Stop was even the site of a sci-fi television episode when it was at the Slice Parlor location. The back room is currently the kitchen, but it used to be a little room full of books with a table in the middle. The TV people rented out the whole shop for a couple of days. We all basked in Jerry's fame.
The Take Away
I asked Jerry if he had learned anything after nine moves. He looked at those rows and rows of boxed volumes. "Yeah, my next store is going to deal in feathers," he said with that wry smile.