Share this story
Close X
Switch to Desktop Site

A bookstore at home along Arizona desert

It's like no other bookstore in the world.

Complete with its own botanical garden, bird-watching station, and many other features unique to a bookstore, the Haunted Bookshop, named after the book by Christopher Morley, is a large, adobe-colored building situated between a shopping center and 30 acres of natural desert in Tucson, Ariz.

About these ads

Richard and Jean Wilson, the owners, along with Ernie Carreon, an architect, designed the store to be what Mrs. Wilson describes as ''a little outing for our customers.''

The parking lot, for example, is lined with plantings, all with identifying labels.

To the west, an iron gateway bears a sign that welcomes customers to the Nature Walk, a loop trail through the desert where almost 100 species of plants are labeled. A booklet, available in the shop, guides the walker to the plants along the way.

If you wish, you can bring a picnic lunch with you on the walk.

To the south of the parking lot is the Birders' Area, with a picnic table and two bird-feeding and watering stations. Many species of native birds, including the cactus wren, Gambel quail, and curve-billed thrasher, visit the area, which is in a heavy growth of desert shrubs along a dry wash.

The front porch, which runs the length of the west side of the bookstore, contains not only more plants, but also a bulletin board that lists natural history events in the area, including meetings of the Audubon Society.

For the prospective book buyer with children in tow, there is a special area where the youngsters can take books down a carpeted tunnel beneath the floor to an alcove furnished with toys and books.

About these ads

Plans call for the expansion of the nature walk, which now covers an acre, into a 20-acre preserve and bird sanctuary, including a geology exhibit.

Follow Stories Like This
Get the Monitor stories you care about delivered to your inbox.