Tuesday, September 8, 2009


The car is unpacked and the beagles have had their baths (well, after they had a chance to let all the neighbors know we were back...ar-woo-wooooooooo!!!).

Spokane was very nice. Don't know what it's like for gaming but I imagine there must be some role-players SOMEWHERE in that town.  Went to Auntie's Bookstore (as well as the attached Uncle's Gamestore) and found no RPGs, used or otherwise. Ugh...what do Gonzaga kids have to do besides drink beer and wait for basketball season to start? Hike and watch cable, I suppose (oh, yeah...I forgot on-line gaming).

Back in Missoula I at least found SOME role-playing games.  No this wasn't a "working" vacation, I am simply an obsessive collector and peruser of used bookstores. Plus, I like to see what's going on, ya' know? You can't throw a rock in Missoula without hitting a head shop and three street kids sporting Bob Marley shirts, but where does one go if he wants to play a little D&D?

Well, when I was a kid (a loooong time ago), I spent my hard earned allowance in one of only two places: Circle K (for comic books/candy) and my favorite used book store of all time, the Book Exchange. I bought many of my earliest RPGs (my 1st edition Stormbringer, 2nd Edition Gamma World, Top Secret) and best TSR adventure modules (G1-3, I1 and I2, S2:White Plume Mountain) at this used book store.  Heck, I even got my copy of Mentzer's Companion set there. 

Of course, I haven't visited this store in nearly 20 years. I simply figured it no longer existed (if you know how much Missoula has changed in the last twenty years, you'll know what I mean).

So when my grandmother mentioned the shop still existed, just having been moved to a new, larger location. I was pretty excited. And since the wife and me were driving into Missoula anyway (to meet some friends from Helena) I decided I absolutely must check out this font of wonder from my youth.

They even have the same sign from when I was a kid.

The new store is huge, spacious and bright compared to the shadowy and dusty shop of my youth. Hell, they even have a coffee bar inside...quite fancy. They also sell new stuff in addition to the used books.

What they did NOT have was the large selection of RPGs.  In fact, it took me quite a bit of searching to find the limited selection of game materials they did have...probably 6-7 inches of total shelf space.  And what was there?  A single copy of a 4th edition PHB and MM, a few random 3rd edition texts, maybe a couple old White Wolf books. Definitely nothing worth purchasing.

O how the mighty have fallen.

Well, the place served me well in my youth, and I'll still be sure to check it out whenever visiting Missoula in the future. I did pick up several tasty book finds...Salinger's The Catcher in the Rye (never yet read it), a collection of Robert E. Howard's non-Conan stories, and a biography of Grigori Rasputin

Oh...Auntie's and Uncle's also provided several gifts as well (my niece is coming to town, and we bought her a book and several games). Just doing my part for the economy.

: )


  1. The Spokane "cool gaming shop" is Merlyn's: http://www.merlyns.biz/

    There were a few others when I was there in the early '90s, but not nearly as good.

  2. Hey, thanks Mark! Wish I'd known that when I was there. I'll certainly check them out next time I visit (possibly in November).