Blanco, Texas, USA
Maggie Lambeth specializes in Art, Genealogy, Texana, Texas, Western Americana.
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About Maggie Lambeth
Independent bookseller with over 40 years in retail and mail order book-selling experience. Our main specialties are books about Texas history, Texas authors, ranching, cattle, lawmen, outlaws, genealogy and family history, county and community history pretty much anything about Texas. Inquiries are welcome txt or talk (830-392-6668).
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During the present time we are only shipping via USPS PRIORITY. This allows us to print shipping on-line from home. We still support 15 day return guarantee, if our books are not as described, with full refund including original shipping costs for up to 15 days after delivery, notify us and return promptly with original packing. Thank you for your patience during this difficult time.
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Interview with Maggie Lambeth of Maggie Lambeth
- When did you get started in bookselling?
- Around 1975.
- What drew you to bookselling?
- I have always loved to read and the experience given by an author to her readers has opened many doors to me that I would otherwise have never had the opportunity to pass through. Buying books at farm auctions by the case lots presented me with more books than I could read; many of those seemed like they might be rare first editions. So, my journey into selling and self education began with those old classics like Jane Eyre by Currer Bell and discovering this was the pseudonym of Charlotte Bronte...very rewarding research and I still love researching the history of the books I sell and what makes them unique, valuable, significant.
- Did you have any mentors in becoming a bookseller?
- The big influence in retail sales was my 3 years at Rosengrens with Florence Rosengren, Cam and Frank Duane; owners of this incredible book selling icon in Southwest Texas. Their passion for contemporary writers and early book selling experiences in Chicago, New York, & Hollywood, created the finest bookstore in San Antonio.
- What are your specialties as a dealer?
- I quickly found the key to my success would be selling books about Texas, a field of collecting known as Texana which includes, everything about Texas, a state with a very interesting past as well as many celebrities, National characters, military forts, wars, feuds, many ethnic groups. Cataloging this interesting subject fit in nicely with my love of history.
- What's the most amazing book you've ever sold?
- A copy of Robertson's 1831 History of America, an odd volume of a three vol. set. This particular volume covered the western part of the country that would become Texas. In itself, not particularly rare at the time but the copy I found in an antique bookstore in Honolulu, belonged to Sam Houston and was signed by him. One could imagine he carried this slim volume with him on his first journey from Tennessee into the land west of the Mississippi; perhaps in a saddle bag.
- What is your favorite part of being a bookseller?
- The historical research that goes into curating, describing, cataloging and evaluating my inventory. And then finding the appreciative audience.
- Do you have an open storefront or have you in the past?
- I have had my home open by appointment as well as inventory in various local antique shops in the town where I live.
- If so, do/did you have any bookstore pets?
- At home I had two dogs, Blue and his sister Sheba, a mixed shepherd breed and great people lovers.
- What is the funniest / strangest / scariest thing that ever happened in your store?
- At one of the local antique stores where I had a back room near the old jailhouse. It was full of an eclectic assortment of good reading and rare books. The shopkeeper went to lunch one day and locked up the store, forgetting there was a customer in the book room. He left a note saying he escaped out the back door. I often wondered what he escaped with! I did notice an old Spanish language two vol. set that included early mention of Spanish spurs was missing.
- What is your favorite bookshop (other than your own)?
- I have been a consistent buyer from many shops. In the early days of my career I frequented Frank Kellel's Antiquarian Bookmart, quite an amazing place for conversation, and treasure. It is still on Broadway in San Antonio and owned by his son.
- What do you personally like to read? Collect?
- I collect signed first editions of Joan Didion, Louise Erdrich. I enjoy many writers who have a good story to tell as well as biography, history and British historical fiction.
- What's your favorite book you personally own? Would you sell it, if the price were right?
- SIGNED F. Scott Fitzgerald. Yes.
- What one book would you buy if price were no object?
- Signed Harper Lee - To Kill A Mockingbird.
- If you were stranded on a desert island and could bring three books, what would they be?
- Larry McMurty - Lonesome Dove, Rebecca West - Black Lamb and Grey Falcon, and P.G. Wodehouse- Life at Blandings.