Monday, December 2, 2013

Wordcraft -- Independent bookstores in Dallas

My usual December resolutions for writers involve appreciating those who help us. And who better for writers to appreciate than those who sell books--our own or those that inspire us? Even more so if they’re our neighbors.

With that, here’s a list of independent booksellers with physical as well as internet addresses, all within the Dallas city limits. Despite the frequent demise of brick and mortar stores, I found so many, often with inventive ways of maintaining their presence, that this post will give only the briefest information. See booksellers’ websites for more details, although I’ll post more pictures at my Pinterest page,

I’m first listing the stores with street side locations, either freestanding or within shopping centers, then those sharing space within other stores.

Chapter Two -- A brand new lifestyle-oriented store at 2 Highland Park Village, facing Preston Road. Small but select, it’s affiliated with adjacent organic café, Number One, with access from the café as well as street side. It offers books and U.S. and international magazines on art, design, interiors, and cooking. What I bought: interior design magazines so difficult to find in Dallas. See

Keith’s Comics -- I visited the shop at 5400 E. Mockingbird Land, Suite 120, crammed cozily into a shopping mall near Mockingbird Station, but Keith’s also has locations in North Dallas, Garland, and Denton (as More Fun Comics). It offers comics, books about comics, and comics-related toys and gadgets. My grandsons love the Spider Man figure in the front window, but on my visit, the shop was filled with adults, like customer Oliver Puzon, whose picture illustrates this post. What I bought: the day’s splurge -- a volume of 1930’s era Terry & the Pirates comic strips.  Info at

Lucky Dog Books -- Among the few freestanding bookstores, with Dallas locations in the Lochwood and North Oak Cliff neighborhoods. Under the name Paperbacks Plus, it also includes a store in downtown Mesquite. It offers mostly used but also new works in general fiction and nonfiction, music, and periodicals, and hosts frequent author signings and community events. I visited the Lochwood store, 10801 Garland Road, which also houses the Dallas Writer’s Garret. What I bought: a 1949 LP of "Porgy and Bess," with original cast members.  For information and list of events, go to

Now for the “inside jobs” -- the shops with inventive ways of sharing space to maintain their presences:

David Grossblatt Bookseller -- Inside the Forestwood Antique Mall, 5333 Forest Lane, owner, David Grossblatt called himself “the oldest fulltime professional bookseller in Dallas County,” with fifty years of experience. His location inside the enormous mall (ask for directions at the front counter) hosts three thousand books. A separate room within the mall houses including volumes on Texana, the Civil War, and Native American cultures, but more shelves hold general fiction and nonfiction as well, with
prices ranging, Grossblatt said, from “$25 to thousands.” What I bought: The Outlaw Trail, by Robert Redford, actually only priced at $14.49!  Contact on Facebook and at

The Dust Jacket -- Another of the surprising number of collectible book nooks nestled inside antique stores, this one inside Lost Antiques, 1201 N. Riverfront Blvd. The Dust Jacket offers antique children’s books, cookbooks, gardening, Texana, classic and modern fiction. I coveted the 1929 edition of “100 Best Detective Stories.”  For more information, including mall Lost's hours, see

Hunter’s Bookcase -- Close to Grossblatt’s booth inside Forestwood Antique Mall, 5333 Forest Lane. Specializing in hunting memorabilia, volumes on big game hunting, and hunting trophies. What I coveted: the fabulously fanged skulls! The shop’s website also offers an extensive collection of hunting DVDs,

Rosedale Rare Books -- Inside Jackson’s Armory, 3416 Rosedale, off Snider Plaza. Co-owner Wrenda Coughran noted that Rosedale’s location inside the armory, a gun shop, is actually appropriate for its emphasis on military history, Texana, exploration and hunting. Also offering literature and antiquarian books. What I bought: Seven Years in Tibet, by Heinrich Harrer. See

Russell Light Books and Art -- Just inside Snider Plaza Antiques, 6929 Snider Plaza, Russell Light offers beautifully bound literary and historical sets, signed presidential books, children’s books, and fine art. I coveted the beautiful editions of Winston Churchill’s histories. The antique shop itself hosts periodic signings by authors of books on antiques. Contact Light at

(Next Monday -- independent bookstores beyond Dallas)


Reminder -- Registration for Mystery Writers of America University is due Wednesday, December 4. Tuition is $50 for the December 14 taught by the likes of Hallie Ephron, Charlaine Harris, and other award-winning mystery writers. See

Tuesday, December 3 -- A email today informs me that the MWA university is sold out!  -- Melissa

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