Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Wordcraft – Independent bookstores in Dallas, a new edition

Clicks on my December 2, 2013, post “Independent bookstores in Dallas,” led me to realize the list needed some serious updating. In a world of big, big, big, sometimes small is best, especially when it’s live and local and within Dallas city limits.

First, the best news: the arrival of The Wild Detectives, brainchild of Spanish civil engineers Javier Garcia del Moral and Paco Vique. In Dallas for a job, they decided to stay and open a space based on their love of books, music, and yes, food and drink. The result was The Wild Detectives, housed in a bright orange bungalow at 314 W. Eighth Avenue in Oak Cliff, Dallas.

Open from 2 p.m. to midnight daily, the store shelves about 1,500 books in English and Spanish, included translated works from authors around the world – and local authors.

And since what is reading without a cup of coffee, a bite to eat, a beer or a glass of wine, The Wild Detectives serves drinks and light snacks for in-house enjoyment. It also hosts readings, panel discussions, music, and children’s storytellings. Check here for upcoming events, including a reading tonight (April 19) by Nick Scott and Noa Gavin, authors of Practical Applications for Multiverse Theory. (Your high school science teacher might not approve.)

Other indie bookstores still open for our reading enjoyment in Dallas include:

Keith’s Comics, 5400 E. Mockingbird Lane, Suite 120, in a shopping mall across from Mockingbird Station, on the courthouse square in Denton, and at select other North Texas location. It offers comic books, books about comic books, and comics-related toys and gadgets.

Lucky Dog Books, with locations in the Oak Cliff (911 W. Jefferson) and Lochwood (10801 Garland Road) neighborhoods of Dallas, as well as its Paperbacks Plus affiliate at 108 E. Davis Street in Mesquite. Although Lucky Dog’s major focus is on used books and music, it hosts a number of community events, including tomorrow’s Wednesday night open mic storytelling at its Oak Cliff branch.

And then there’s Half Price Books. Yes, this is a chain. Yes, it has stores outside Texas. But at least in the store closest to me, at 5803 E. Northwest Highway in Dallas, it hosts a stream of community events as well as signings by new, local and offbeat authors, including an appearance this Saturday, April 23, by actress/author Amber Tamblyn.

Both Half Price Books and The Wild Detectives feature food as well as books, knowing how much reading and eating go together. Lucky Dog Books also offers limited beverage service and is exploring a possible café opening. Sad to say, however, food and books were not enough to save Chapter Two, the chic lifestyle-oriented bookstore in Highland Park Village which I reported in the 2013 post. Despite its affiliation with an adjacent café, it closed within the next year. Its site is now occupied by a grocery store.

So many literary events this coming weekend, I wish I could clone myself. Along with Earth Day, The Wild Detectives celebrates World Book Day this Saturday, April 23, 8:30 a.m. – 6 p.m. and offers children’s storytelling, “Kids in the Cliff – A Bad Case of Stripes,” from 9:30 a.m. – 10:30 a.m. the same day.

The North Texas Teen Book Festival is also April 23 in the Irving Convention Center, 500 W. Las Colinas Blvd., Irving (near the Irving DART station). Panels start at 8:15 a.m. – 3 p.m. Check the books for sale (from Half Price Books) and budget accordingly!

And don't forget the DFW Writers Conference April 23-24, with additional workshops Friday, April 22. Or the North Texas Book Reviewers Preview, also on April 23.

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