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Amazon’s brick and mortar store!??  Yes please…I’ll take one right here in Allen!  And soon – before my kids are all grown and don’t want to go to the bookstore with me anymore!  When I was growing up in Dallas, one of the things I did with my allowance money was ride my bike (with my sisters) to Preston Center – the local shopping center – and spend my money on books at Taylor’s bookstore!  Do any of you remember Taylor’s Bookstores?  They were quaint little bookstores with a great children/teen section (that’s where I hung out).  My sisters and I would roam the aisles on our own for hours looking for the perfect book.  There wasn’t a coffee shop attached or any boutique stores attached .  There were not any toys for sale either.  Just books.  Plain and simple…  Recently, you may have seen my article on The Book Stall in Winnetka, Illinois.  It is about a small, quaint bookshop about a mile from my sister’s house just outside of Chicago.  And yes…it is close enough for her children to ride their bikes or walk there on their own.  And buy a book!!

Having fun in Chestnut Square at The Book Stall

Just something simple like The Bookstall in Chicago – that’s all I need!

Her daughter can now drive, so she drives herself over there almost every week during the school year, grabs herself a Peet’s Coffee and hops on a barstool near the windows and studies and does her homework.  Peet’s Coffee & Tea is attached to The Book Stall, so she often wanders over to where the books are, and browses through books for a study break.  Can you imagine??  Maybe where you live, you have a local bookstore.  Here in Allen, we do not!  And that makes me sad…

The closest bookstore (that I know of) is Barnes and Noble – you can travel 10-15 minutes to Frisco and shop in the bookstore at Stonebriar Centre, or you can travel the opposite direction to Plano to another Barnes and Noble there too.  As a former teacher, I just really wish my kids had a bookstore within biking distance – they love reading as much as I did (and still do), and right now, one of our favorite activities is driving to the Allen Public Library (our library is awesome), checking out a few books, and grabbing a snack at the little snack stand in a corner of our library.

Amazon's Brick and Mortar Store

I’m imagining a place like this – lots of bookshelves and comfortable seating. What do you think? Nice, right? If you are in San Diego – you are in luck.  That’s where I took this picture.  If you’re with me in Allen – no such luck!

But…there’s something about buying a book at a real bookstore!  Your very own copy that you get to keep – you can read it over and over if you like, or share it with a friend when you are finished.  Right now, our only option is to buy books at Target.  And they do have a pretty good book section.  I rarely leave that store without at least one book.  And today, we left Target with 7 books!  A new record…  But it’s still not a bookstore.

Now I’m hoping that this Amazon thing catches on.  An Amazon Brick and Mortar Store.  Perfect!  Like they say in the article, “Amazon is not reliant on book sales to stay afloat”!  So I’m thinking that this is what we need in Allen.  If not this, then what?  Who’s going to be brave enough to come into town and open up a bookstore?  Are bookstores a thing of the past?  Recently, in talking with friends and family, I get a sense that more and more people are preferring to read a book – an actual book – not a story on an e-reader!

Although – you all know that I love my Kindle Paperwhite, and I’ll be traveling with it a bunch this summer.  It’s so easy to carry around – it slips right into my purse, and it’s not only one book, but many!!!  All in one place.  And it’s backlit – it’s perfect day or night.  There’s just still something different about a book – something I need from time to time.  I go back and forth between the two, and right now, I’ve got as many books stacked on my nightstand as I have queued up on my Kindle!  Aaaahhhhh…when will I ever find the time to do all this reading??

Amazon's Brick and Mortar Store

One of our happy little visits to the bookstore near my sister’s house.

I’m thinking that maybe here in Allen, someone can open up a bookstore (maybe Amazon or some other brave soul), and we can attach it to a Chick Fil A?  What do you think?  I’m not a coffee drinker, but I am a huge fan of Diet Coke from Chick Fil A!  Put in a few comfy tables and seating areas, and I’d be set!  And if you decide to do this, please let everyone know that it was my great idea to attach it to a Chick Fil A!

If you don’t understand why I’ve chosen Chick Fil A as the restaurant to attach to our bookstore, then you haven’t seen the drive through lines at these restaurants – they are always packed!  Can you imagine the people that would come just for lunch and end up in the bookstore?  The overflow from the restaurant would be epic! It’s win-win situation!

As I was searching on-line for bookstores in Dallas, I did find a few.  None of them very close to me of course, but you can read all about them in this article titled The Best 10 Bookstores in Dallas, Texas on Yelp!  Never heard of most of them, but there is one that has caught my attention…  It is called The Wild Detectives – a bookstore/bar in Oak Cliff.  An interesting twist on a bookstore – not sure I’d take my kids with me, but it would be fun without them.  It’s in the Bishop Arts District in Dallas, and I learned that they host a lot of events like book presentations, signings, readings, wine tastings, movie screenings, and more…

Here is what they provide according to their website:

  • Your Morning Coffee. We bring you coffee cultivated by direct trade practices and roasted locally in the neighborhood.
  • Your Afternoon Snack. We’ve envisioned a menu inspired by the way Mediterraneans enjoy their food; as the perfect excuse to socialize. Our delicious selection of toasts and plates can be combined to fit anywhere between a simple snack or a full meal. Food that you don’t need to commit to.
  • Your Evening Drink. We serve beer that has been brewed right around the corner. You could also enjoy our selection of wine that brings great Spanish wines at an affordable price. You feel more like cocktails? Look no further, we have a good selection of classics re-designed by Benj Pocta of Small Brewpub.
  • Your Everyday Books. We have curated a selection of Fiction and Poetry and untranslated Spanish Literature that lends itself to discovery. We’ve also curated a small selection of records. Not all the indispensable ones are here, but all the ones that are here are indispensable. Believe us, we have a book for you.

Apparently, lots of people know about this place.  They were chosen as Best Bookstore in 2014 and 2015 by D Magazine, Best New Thing in Town in 2014 by the Dallas Observer,  and it has recently been selected by American Airlines magazine, American Way, along a few other bookstores in the country, as one of the leaders of the recent American Indie bookstore renaissance.  Pretty  neat, right?  Definitely worth a drive down to Bishop Arts District, I think.

As you know from some older posts, I had recently started venturing down to the Bishop Arts District.  In my few visits, I’ve never seen The Wild Detectives Bookstore.  I think I’ll need to plan another trip down there.  While I’m there, I’ll visit my two favorite places down there so far – Spinster Records and Emporium Pies.  You can visit Ballcapmom.com to read all about them!

So…that’s my rant about not having a bookstore in my hometown!  I know, I know…  We have a wonderful library, so I shouldn’t be complaining, but I WANT A BOOKSTORE!!  Who knows…maybe Amazon will get wind of this post and open up a store in Allen!  Wouldn’t that be great.  All because of one silly mom’s blog post.  I can dream right?  Until next time…