Lizards in the Leaves

Rustlings in the green....imagination, art, whimsy

Sep 4, 2005

R.I.P Wabash River Books (1996-2005)

Yesterday was the last day for Terre Haute's only comprehensive full-service used bookshop. Started in March of 1996 with a very informal co-operative arrangement between Todd Nation, Tim and Harriett Kelley and me, it has been a labor of love and hope for the last nine years.

From 1996-1998 we were in a tiny space downtown (former home of Campbell's Books and then Book Nation.) Then the Swope Art Museum (our landlord) needed the space for their new office and Tim bought the new building and became the sole proprietor of Wabash River Books. I continued to sell my books with Tim's and to help staff the store along with Tim's family. Poor business and illness in both our families made keeping the shop open impossible - though we actually kept it open for a year after that realization!

Tim behind the desk yesterday, Harriett hiding from my camera to the left. There's a framed copy of the Desiderata on the wall, which was written by Terre Haute poet Max Ehrmann.

American History - This is a set of shelves in the center of the biggest room, what you can't see is the Biography section which lines the walls all around.

Peeking into the Fiction section, which made up only about 15 -20% of our books.

Aisle lined with Classics and Literature, World History. Not shown are 3 other small rooms and the back section of the store. These areas had too many people in them for me to take photos.
They were drawn in by this:

"Last Day - All Books $1 Each"

So long, Wabash River Books.....


At 11/26/06, 2:31 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Zann - funny how fiber seems to tie things together! I grew up near TH, and my husband & I have visited every year or two since I left to move to CA when we got married 23 years ago (he lived in CA at the time). Anyway, for the last several years, the highlight of his trips to TH was the ritual visit to WR Books. Last month we were very sorry to find the store closed. It was one of the best bookstores we've visited, and we've visited a LOT of bookstores! We'll remember it fondly!

Diane & Dennis, now in Springfield, OR


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