Thursday, January 28, 2010

The best bookstore ...

As in the rest of America, the days of the independent bookstore in Montana appear to be numbered ... doomed to extinction by the likes of Barnes & Noble and There are still a couple of fairly-good local places to buy books here in Bozeman, but that's not the case for most of Montana's cities and towns.

There's only one bookstore in all of Montana that I consider a destination in its own right, and its in a fairly unlikely spot: the little town of Alberton. There, the Montana Valley Bookstore has packed an old storefront with well over 100,000 used books, stuffing a maze of narrow, floor-to-ceiling shelves that extend even into the cellar. It's dim and musty and there's a resident cat -- a browser's dream, and one of the greatest ways to spend an hour or two that I can think of.


  1. Ha! I like the bookstore-Coke sign combo. I've never seen that before.

  2. Oh, you would absolutely love that place!

    I doubt that the owner lives much above the poverty level, but in every other respect it seems like it would be an extremely nice life.

  3. Only an hour or two?
    I fear I'd have to pitch a tent....

    I read about this little place in the Montana Quarterly a couple of issues ago, and wanted to visit it. I'm glad it's "showcased" on your blog!

  4. Ahh ... yet another reason you and I were destined to get along! :)

    And yep, it's a wonderful place, indeed. There are few things in life as much fun as prowling through a used book store ... and this is a fine one, by any standard.