When I was visiting E and his family over the Christmas break, one of the places I really wanted to visit was the Dickson Street Bookshop.
Fayetteville is a small, college town, and there are only a few main drags of stores to explore. One of those streets is Dickson, which has quite a number of bars, and the book shop is smack in the middle of it.
I wanted to visit the shop because it specializes in out-of-print books, is one of those rare gems you definitely don’t see in Los Angeles, and most importantly, it’s been owned and operated by E’s dad since 1978.
At one point Charles, that’s E’s dad, gave me a brown shopping bag and told me to “get whatever” I wanted. I felt like I was on an episode of Supermarket Sweep, where I’d have to just run through each and every aisle and try to dump as many books as I possibly could into my bag.
Unfortunately, I wasn’t very good at the whole “endless options” thing. There were so many aisles, so many sections, and so many beautiful book spines to pet. I ended up wandering into the foreign aisle, and leaving with a bunch of Spanish language flashcards. (No joke.)
The best part about this store is all of the independent touches. Unlike a Barnes & Noble or Borders (R.I.P.), every inch of this bookshop is unique. There are handwritten signs, little details, like the Man Booker prize winners, and a seemingly endless supply of witty New Yorker cartoons cut out and tacked to the wall like art.
It was such a special place, and really reminded me of the importance of supporting independent sellers. If you’re ever looking for an out-of-print title, or a unique gift to give someone that is truly one of a kind, Dickson Bookshop sells and ships all of its titles via Abe Books. (Lucky for all of us!)
Oh, except the Spanish language flashcards. Those came home with me.