I discovered an indie bookstore today called The Bookery. It’s in Socorro on the El Paso Mission Trail and housed in the Casa Ortiz, an old adobe that has an historical marker explaining that the building is perhaps 400 years old and was occupied by the Ortiz family all the way up until 1947. The Bookery carries only books with an El Paso or Southwestern theme and educational books for children. The owner, Margaret Barber, is a feisty woman in her seventies who thinks the public schools are failing, and she has made it her mission to turn them around. She’s enlisted the help of teachers and staff who believe in her cause, and I think she is making a difference. Many classes come to her store on field trips. They see puppet shows, hear readings, and get to spend time with books and educational toys. Margaret does well by doing good, selling supplies and books to the schools. The rest of her stock – books on El Paso and the Southwest – are a hobby because there aren’t many readers in the Lower Valley. Still, she bought six of my books, and I like having them on those dusty, ramshackle shelves above which you can see the handmade clay roof tiles resting on cedras that were hewn four centuries ago.