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Bookseller loses 50,000 books in storm but vows to carry on


A Texas bookseller is attempting to rebuild his bookselling business after a devastating storm ripped through Lubbock, Texas last month. The storm and its high winds, which struck around midnight on June 5th, destroyed 90% of Bill Gallagher’s inventory for his bookselling business, Shamrock Books.

“The books were assembled over a span of 35 years and probably numbered 50,000 to 55,000 books, sets, ephemera, booklets, and magazines, but most grievously, nearly all my collectible first edition novels,” said Jim. “My collection was stored in a renovated mobile home stripped to accommodate shelves and bookcases.“At the storm’s approach I glanced out the window of my adjoining home and all appeared well. Five minutes later I looked again and blinked in disbelief – it was all was gone. Daylight would show that the roof had been lifted off and spun into a nearby horse pasture. The restraining walls were blown off and, to compound nature’s wrath, torrential rain completed the destruction by flooding any books that may have survived the winds.”

Bill has been dealing in vintage, rare and antique books since 1982, and specializes in books about the Old West, Texas, art, architecture and military books. He has sold with AbeBooks since 1997, and is a five-star seller, who has sent used and rare books all over the world.

Although he has lost many books, Bil has worked tirelessly in the past few weeks to put some of his surviving books back online. A second storage area survived the storm unharmed. He currently has just over 400 books online.

“In the final analysis, I’ll cope with the events of June 5th because viewed through a philosophical lens, I still have my family, friends and colleagues and, as shown through the goodwill of AbeBooks’ staff and management, the inspiration to carry on,” said Jim. “I’ve closed my mind to summarizing a value when the only thing that matters is I’ll never see and hold these books in my hands again.”

We urge you to browse Bill’s inventory and help someone who has spent the past four decades putting books into the hands of booklovers – he offers many fascinating books. AbeBooks has waived Bill’s subscriptions fees for the next three months.

Search Shamrock Books.

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