|Hyde Brothers Books, Ft. Wayne, IN|
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I've known about this indie for awhile, have read a bit about it, and finally got a chance to visit and see it for myself. You see, Hyde Brothers Books has a "reputation." In this case, that reputation is all good and I can tell you after seeing for myself, it's well-deserved. This is another solid used book store, as strong as any I've seen anywhere. And owner Sam Hyde along with bookseller Kaitlyn were as nice and knowledgeable as any I've met along my journey. These are the kind of "reputations" that all bookstores hope for!
This 2-level bookstore has been around for about 26 years, located in a busy retail corridor of Ft. Wayne. I think it's a good location, surrounded by many other small independent businesses. The main level has two large rooms with a little meandering involved, side nooks, and aisles all of which make it a fun place to explore. The same can be said for the basement level. The main level is packed with floor to ceiling books and thankfully they have several shelf ladders to reach the upper shelves. The basement level is also shelved floor to ceiling but the ceiling isn't as high downstairs and ladders aren't needed. However, if you're over about 6'5" watch your head. Sam told me that he conservatively estimates the inventory at 200,000 (I think there are more). I was impressed with the number of complete set editions that they displayed, a few of which you can see in the pictures below. I would encourage collectors to check out the store's inventory. You can also order these vintage editions through the store's on-line site. The store offers cash or double that in store credit for books that customers bring in. But, they won't take everything. As Sam told me, out of 2000 books he might see per week, he might take 400-500.
Hyde Brothers is home to 2 bookstore cats, Scout and Sherlock, making this a destination for cat lovers as well. The store is easily accessible for out-of-towners with free parking right on the street and right in front of the store.
If you didn't know about Hyde Brothers Books before, you certainly do now. Check out this iconic used book store and when you do, make sure you have LOTS of time. Go to an indie and buy a book. Bonsoir.
JUST FINISHED: The Essex Serpent
, Sarah Perry. I liked the premise of this story about a mysterious, seldom seen serpent in the Essex region of Victorian England. The only thing is that the serpent never appeared in the story. It was more of an "idea" of the serpent and its effect on the townspeople which allowed them to blame any troubles like missing people, misfortune, and illness on the possibility of a serpent. Cora, an independent and recently widowed woman ventures to Essex in hopes of finding this serpent but is hampered by a local pastor who eventually falls for her even though he is married to a woman who is terminally ill (blame the "serpent"). This book was only mildly interesting. I blame the serpent.
CURRENTLY READING: Don't Let Go
, Harlan Coben.
RECENTLY PURCHASED: And The Mountains Echoed
, Khaled Hosseini.