Friday, November 19, 2010

The What We Covet Holiday Gift Guide, Part 7: The Bookworm

Do you remember that scene in The NeverEnding Story (the 1984 film, rather than the 1979 novel) where Bastian goes into the book store and the dude who runs the place gets all cryptic on him? Well, it turns out that that dude has a doppelganger who happens to run a book store. No joke. It's called the Dawn Treader Book Shop, and it's located in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

The place is so so packed with books that they actually have maps on the shelves to help you figure out where you are: 

But the upshot is that you can find all sorts of cool things there, even a selection of rare and antiquarian books. Topics range from such expected things as literature and history to the less common, like freemasonry and tapestries. Some of their inventory is available for purchase online, but I think the greatest holiday gift for your book-centric loved ones would be a trip to the store itself.

When you go to the front desk, take a minute to talk to the proprietor--a very interesting man, to be sure-- and pay special attention to your surroundings. I believe you'll find that they have a little bowl full of marbles that's labeled something along the lines of, "Have a marble, leave a marble. Need a marble, take a marble." In my personal opinion, that's much better than the "Need a penny, take a penny" system, if for no other reason than the sheer whimsy of it all.

Visit the Dawn Treader Book Shop website, or contact them at 734/995-1008 for more information.


PS If you can't make it to the Dawn Treader due to geographic limitations, find a similar establishment in your area. Frequenting used bookshops helps you to save books from landfills, promote literacy at a reasonable price, and support small businesses, all of which are admirable goals, especially during the holidays!