Headquarters: You know that you are drawing near when you travel north on Ocotillo Road out of Benson, Ariz., and you see the Headquarters for Books About the Southwest sign at 700 Singing Wind Road. About a half mile drive down the dirt road is the Singing Wind Bookshop. Photo by Gary Warren/ladailypost.com
The Bell: The bell and sign still stand in front of the bookshop. Today, the shop is manned by employees and volunteers so you probably won’t need to ring the bell for service. The old worn sign and bell are reminders of operation over 40 years ago when Winifred Bundy opened the shop at the Singing Wind Ranch. Photo by Gary Warren/ladailypost.com
By GARY WARREN
Formerly of Los Alamos
This post may differ from most of the Posts From the Road in that it features a single business rather than a town or park or other landmark, which we come across during our travels. Last winter while in Arizona, we heard about a unique bookstore in Benson, Ariz., the Singing Wind Bookshop.
When I say the bookshop is in Benson, that is only half of the story. The bookshop is located on a working cattle ranch just north of town. The shop was opened in 1974 by Winifred Bundy and her husband. For years, Winfred operated the store alone and you would oftentimes have to ring the bell outside of the shop to get her attention for assistance as she was doing other chores around the Sing Wind Ranch. These days the shop is run by volunteers and employees but you may still want to ring the bell.
The bookshop is a treasure for those who love books. The shop features books about the southwest, new and used, fiction and non fiction but hundreds of titles for visitors to browse. The store has such a reputation that people from around the world stop and shop at this out of the way bookshop.
Think you may want to check out the store online. Forget about it. The store has no internet, no website or social media account but it does have a phone. Pay is by cash or check, no credit cards accepted.
To visit the bookshop, take Exit 304 on Interstate 10 at Benson. Travel north on Ocotillo Road for about 2 miles. Turn right onto Sing Wind Road and drive about a half mile down the dirt road to the bookshop. The phone number is 520.586.2425.
Editor’s note: Longtime Los Alamos photographer Gary Warren and his wife Marilyn are traveling around the country and he shares his photographs, which appear in the ‘Posts from the Road’ series published in the Sunday edition of the Los Alamos Daily Post.
Greetings: Upon arrival at the shop, you may be greeted by one or more donkeys or dogs, which reside on the ranch.Photo by Gary Warren/ladailypost.com
Singing Wind: As you arrive and park, this is the view of the bookshop and the pasture beyond. Be prepared to take in the views, slow down, and browse. You will not be disappointed. Photo by Gary Warren/ladailypost.com