Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Deep Vellum Books & Publishing - Dallas, TX

Deep Vellum Books & Publishing, Dallas, TX
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Readers, you know how I relate to you the uniqueness of all bookstores.  There is no cookie-cutter for how they should or shouldn't be.  But here's what I liked about Deep Vellum Books in Dallas.  I didn't recognize a single book they displayed.  That's right, and I loved it.  Deep Vellum takes its title of independent bookstore to the nth degree and only offers books by small independent presses.  The books they offer here are arranged by their publishers and you'll rarely see any of these at Barnes & Noble.  In fact, many of these can be hard to find at other independent bookstores.  For me, that's what makes this indie so much fun, finding books by new authors and publishers.

This bookstore is located in the Deep Ellum neighborhood of Dallas, surrounded by many restaurants, pubs, and night life, a very cool area.  Its name is a kind of pun on the neighborhood its located in.  The business actually began as a small press 5 years ago and then added the bookstore part 2 years ago.  The good news here is that things are going great and its small press business just published its 30th book.  Congrats Deep Vellum!

Plaque on outside of building noting historical significance.  
The store is a small one-level space with a corner location.  The building is recognized as a historic landmark which was the home for Leadbelly (Heddie Ledbetter), blues guitarist many years ago.  Deep Vellum does not offer the typical sidelines of other indies but does have frequent events in the store which are an important part of the business.  These include author events and readings as well as live music.  The events really help support the business with their sales of wine, beer, and coffee.  They also have some wonderful art work on their walls by local artists and these works are available for purchase.

I was very fortunate during my visit to meet and talk with Cristina, the store manager and I also got to meet Will E., the store owner and founder.  Both of these people are knowledgeable about small presses, their authors, and those books that are published.  When you visit this store, you will be meeting a couple of true experts in their field.

Having trouble picking out your next book?  Want to try something to impress your bookclub?  Make your way to Deep Vellum Books to browse their selection and lean on Will and Cristina for some great advice on your next book.  Go to an indie and buy a book.  Bonsoir.

JUST FINISHED:  Bastard Out Of Carolina, Dorothy Allison.  Fiction but undoubtedly a semi-autobiographical account of the author's childhood in the 1950s.  Born to a 15-year old single mother, this story depicts southern poverty among white families at its worse.  Fortunately for Bone, the book's main character, she is surrounded by multiple aunts, uncles, cousins, and a granny who try to help but are challenged by lack of education and booze.  Harrowing and stunning.  I thought this book was outstanding.  Highly recommended.

CURRENTLY READING:  The Evolution Of Bruno Littlemore,  Benjamin Hale.

RECENTLY PURCHASED:  Stephen Florida, Gabe Habash.  Nightmare In Berlin, Hans Fallada.  

Another exterior view.  

Sign outside Deep Vellum, a Dallas bookstore.  I live in the midwest.  Everything is relative!

One of the exterior display windows.  

View looking into the store from the front entrance.  Habitual readers may recognize the celebrity on the left.  Yes, that's my mom.  

View looking to the left from the front entrance and a wall of books by small independent presses.  

View looking to the right from the front entrance.  

Some of the small presses with books in the store.  Books are shelved according to publishers.  

A couple of great places to sit and sample a book.  Or a wine.  

Lots of books facing with the covers out.  A great thing for the indies who have the space to do this.  

Have a seat and try a book.  

Take time to check-out the art work around the store by local artists, much of it available for purchase.  

Lots of great work in the store.  

The name of a bookstore AND the name of a publisher.  

Books in a plain brown wrapper, consider it a blind date.  I love this promotion that many indies have.  

Here's a close-up of one of the "blind dates."

A variety of beverages available.  

A ladder that rolls on rails in case you need to see a higher shelf.  

Wine in a can and I hear it's pretty good.

With Will on the left and Cristina in the middle, two of the fine people you'll meet at Deep Vellum Books.  Thanks for a great visit.  

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