For those of you who have never been to Denton TX there is an opera house just off the square. Opera, however, is no longer the building's attraction. The upper floors and galleries have been converted to apartments and cordoned off from the rest of the building. The rambling multi-level bottom floor and basement have been filled from floor to ceiling in books.... the offices, rooms for the star of the show and makeup artists, even the original bathrooms have all been filled, some with teetering piles of records... mounds of comics and record labels cover holes in the century-old building walls. It is in places like these that always seem to have buried treasure around the next corner or holding up the shelf in the back closet.
Every time I visit Denton to see friends or just in passing through I try to find time to stop at Recycled Books and this weekend was no exception. I spent a couple of happy hours in their cracking basement looking through the four shelves of chess books I found there. Perched on a crumbling couch covered in crushed velvet with completely compressed padding I read through the introductions of dozens of books and paged through illustrations looking for things a bit less arcane than the dusty tomes filled with algebraic notation and little (or no) analysis from the 50's and 60's. I walked out with a 3rd edition of Reassess Your Chess (SIlman, and worth the read) and a few new volumes to add to my collection from the Everyman Chess Collection (a well written series by a British publisher; illustrations are in color and the language is simple but packed with content).
I always find the people that work at Recycled to be friendly and helpful.... and perhaps a bit more colorful than the average used book store clerks... due at least in part to the proximity to UNT and TWU. I highly encourage anyone with the time and a love for the printed word to stop by when they have the time and they are in the neighborhood. The time spent there will not be wasted. I left Russian chess manuals and books by Pandolfini, Capablanca and dozens of other famous masters on the shelf there... waiting.....