In the past few months, a handful of small bookstores have opened their doors outside the city.
In just the past few months, three small new bookstores have sprung up along Dallas’ outskirts, in Denton, Waxahachie and Corsicana. Is something in the air?
Opened in March, O’Brien’s Bookshop occupies a portion of the Gingerbread Antiques store near Waxahachie’s square with a selection of fiction and nonfiction. If it isn’t the only bookstore in Ellis County, it’s one of very few, says Lisa O’Brien, who runs the shop with her husband, Ross. “We know there’s not one within 30 minutes, any direction.” Their hope is to eventually move into a bigger spot. A set of green-painted shelves rounds out the current one nicely, thanks to a carpenter who was eager to pitch in.
In Denton, a block from the square, Diane Mayes, a retired teacher, held a soft opening at Patchouli Joe’s Books & Indulgences last weekend, “and the turnout was remarkable.” The name goes back to 1977, when Mayes met her husband, Joe. They only sell new. (Nearby Recycled Books has dibs on the used trade.) June 19 is the grand opening. In the meantime, they’ve had to restock quite a number of their selections — a good thing. Among the indulgences are soap, candles and gifts including incense, of course. The vibe is decidedly ’70s.
And in Corsicana, a 1920s storefront downtown now has books on its walls, as well. Visitors will find titles from those who’ve participated in the Corsicana Artist & Writer Residency, along with prints and other merchandise. More than a handful of titles have emerged from the residency, which, in its past half-decade of existence, has given folks time and space to work in the small town. As the residency’s first spot dedicated to public programs, the storefront is intended to be somewhere visitors can have an ongoing relationship with residents’ work.