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Finding a local, independent bookstore in any city I travel to is, well, worth a thousand words. (But I promise I’ll make this story short.)
Tucked in Dallas’ Deep Ellum neighborhood — a district known for its vibrant music scene, art galleries, street art and trendy bars and restaurants — is one such novel repository: Deep Vellum Books.
The beautiful shop has the look and feel of a modern, minimalist bookstore — with dark wood, clean lines and a meticulously arranged selection of reading material — while also drawing in customers with pops of color in the form of local art and a hip cafe vibe. (And, indeed, a small bar offers coffee, wine and craft beer.)
The bookstore — launched in early 2016 by co-owner Will Evans, who also founded Deep Vellum Publishing, a nonprofit indie book publisher, in 2013 — sells titles from its own imprint as well as other independent publishers.
Upon wandering in, I was greeted by Evans, who asked what brought me into town. Soon, we were deep in conversation about his previous (and my current) life in Los Angeles, the virtues of riding your bike to work and which Deep Vellum title I should purchase. I was debating between a short story collection from a heralded Moroccan author; a genderless erotic love story translated from French; or a Congolese novel that employs a writing style akin to jazz rhythms. (Spoiler alert: I bought two out of three, along with a zine by a local writer.)
Evans also detailed some of the bookstores in Los Angeles that stock Deep Vellum’s prints — which, by the way, have beautifully eye-catching modern covers — a couple of which were right in my own neighborhood. So, when I was done with my new reads, he said, I could quickly find my way to the next ones.
It was the kind of serendipitous encounter that compels my incurable travel bug, and a novel experience that was one for the bookworms.
The DetailsDeep Vellum Bookswww.deepvellum.com
Deep Vellum Publishingwww.deepvellum.org