Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Dickson Street Bookshop

Bookstore: Dickson Street Bookshop

Location: Fayetteville, Arkansas

Why I Love Them: So, to recap for those who didn't read last Friday's post, I was still on my road trip for my friend Sarah's wedding and now we'd reached Arkansas, the final destination state. The wedding itself was taking place in Eureka Springs, a quaint yet odd town full of dichotomies, bikers surrounded by prosperous frontier town opulence with a religious bent. But my friend Matt and I arrived early and went to Sarah's home in Fayetteville. Knowing we were there a day early in order to help and then haul whatever needed hauling to Eureka Springs I didn't do any prep in advance as to sightseeing in Fayetteville. Yet Sarah knows we well, in fact she's known me since I was fourteen so she took me straight to a bookstore. Ah, the Dickson Street Bookshop, a bookstore that knows what a bookstore should be, stretching farther and farther back, steps up into other buildings, shelves precariously packed, and aisles you could barely squeeze through. The gauntlet that every book lover hopes to run. I could have spent days in there and not discovered everything. There was even a side annex that just had science fiction laid out on tables. Tables and tables of cheap paperbacks, it was almost too much to hope for! If I had had more time who knows how much money I would have spent! But as it turns out, this wouldn't be where I spent most of my money, that honor was reserved for the gift shop at the Laura Ingalls Wilder Historic Home and Museum that we stumbled upon in Missouri. But I still found something... one can never leave a bookshop without finding something!

Best Buy: Sometimes before really digging into a bookstore I do a quick sweep. I basically name-check all my favorite authors and if the store has them then I know it's worthwhile to dig in deep. Mitfords, check, Durrells, check, I knew I'd find something here! So a bit of history. Ever since I was younger I've been collecting the Everyman's Library Children's Classic Series. It started with Alice in Wonderland and Peter Pan and has expanded as often as I can stumble on the editions. My copy of Little Women was even bought at Orchard House! In fact on a few recent outings I added three new volumes, two in one day, and I couldn't believe my luck. The problem is that the website list that Penguin Random House has posted is incomplete! It omits editions that have gone out of print, such as Little Men. So while they say there are 58 volumes in the series, and I have 37, there are certainly more than 21 volumes I need to still find... which is why my trip to the Dickson Street Bookshop was so fortuitous. I had scoured the store. All the back rooms, all the weird nooks with history books, and I'd even gone through some of the science fiction. My friend Sarah even offered to help because if my traveling companion Matt doesn't eat on time he becomes obstreperous and it was dinnertime. So my time looking for books was coming to a close even with Sarah's help. As I was about to give up I was right near the counter, heading for the door and I saw this "special edition" section. It was rather small but there were two books from the Everyman's Library Children's Classic Series! Two! One of them was The Pied Piper of Hamelin. Do you think the book was trying to tell me something?


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