Mr. Bill Miller’s Book for a Buck Blowout, held last month near his recently closed Cleburne bookstore, proved very successful in one respect, said Katherine Ann Murphy, a Cleburne resident and one of the organizers of the event.
“We raised enough to help Bill out for the next few months,” Murphy said.
City leaders blocked a portion of James Street running alongside Miller’s building allowing organizers to set tables in the street filled with thousands of books and magazines from the downtown bookstore Miller has operated since the early 1980s.
“We had steady crowds throughout the three days [of the sale],” Murphy said. “I’d say we had about 1,500 to 2,000 overall. A lot of people around town have been asking and wanting to know what’s next for Mr. Bill?
“John Clayton Read [Cleburne artist Sleepy Read’s nephew] showed up with his guitar and played western music, which was really nice. He’s been playing the Fort Worth Stockyards more than 20 years.”
Despite the turnout, plenty of books remain.
“We did fairly well,” Miller said. “But the bottom line is we probably haven’t moved more than a third of the stock in [the store].”
In the interim, organizers established a Facebook page titled Bill’s Books of Cleburne, to keep residents updated, and continue to offer books for sale.
“Since the city closed Bill’s building, people can’t go in there,” Murphy said. “But if they still want books they can contact us through the Facebook page and we can set something up to get books for them.”
Closed for business
Citing health and safety code violations, city officials shuttered Bill’s Bookstore in May and gave him until September to correct a laundry list of more than 20 cited violations. The orders allow Miller to enter his store to make repairs or remove stock, but prohibit him from continuing to live in the building or remain open to the public.