I'm in little Columbia Falls, Montana, for a few weeks. The place is an old mill town just outside Glacier National Park and it gets a fair amount of tourist trade in the summer, but I am here in November and the tourists are long gone. But the town has some wonderful virtues that the tourists probably miss and one of them is Bad Rock Books.
If you're driving through town on Montana Highway 2 you will miss the old downtown. The main drag is Nucleus Avenue, a great and unusual name for a town's primary road, and Bad Rock Books is on this street.
The owner, Carol Rocks, calls herself a "book wench." Unlike many used bookstores, she tries to avoid paperbacks and bodice-rippers although the store has plenty of each.
I have been in this place three times and always come out with something delicious, unexpected, and very inexpensive. Although the store has some rare books scattered around the shelves, most of the things I have been picking up are around $5 or $10 at the most. I went in yesterday and came out with four good books for $20. One of them was "Cow Country Cook Book," a charming description of how cowboys, miners, and sheep-herders actually cooked and what they ate long ago.
The store's organization is a little casual, the lighting is a little dim, but there are lots of titles to choose from and next time I go I am going to bring a flashlight. If you are on vacation in the Flathead Valley or Glacier National Park and need something good to read, Bad Rock Books is a great place to find it.
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