Writer Larry McMurtry auctions most of 450,000-book collection

Larry McMurtry just auctioned off 450,000 books and announced his retirement from writing.
Source: Chicago Tribune

ARCHER CITY, Tx. (Reuters) – Hipsters, booksellers and fans from across the country converged on the town where “The Last Picture Show” was filmed to buy a few books – or a truckload – at “The Last Book Sale,” writer Larry McMurtry’s once-in-a-lifetime auction.

McMurtry amassed 450,000 volumes in his used and rare book business called Booked Up, whose four buildings dominate the tiny municipality. At 76, the famed author said he decided to sell 300,000 volumes at a two-day auction that concludes on Saturday because they would be “a huge burden” for his heirs.

With the auction underway, McMurtry, who wrote “Terms of Endearment,” “The Last Picture Show” and more than 20 other novels plus major screenplays such as “Brokeback Mountain” and many works of nonfiction, said he’s finished writing fiction.

“I think I had about 20 good years,” said the winner of a Pulitzer Prize for fiction in 1986 for “Lonesome Dove.” “Writers don’t get better as they get older, they get worse. Fifty is usually the stopping point.”

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