The news for indie bookstores in North Texas keeps getting better.
A new bookseller, Interabang Books -- operated by Nancy Perot, Lori Feathers, and Jeremy Ellis, a former general manager of Houston’s legendary Brazos Bookstore -- will open in North Dallas in May, according to the web site ShelfAwareness.com. The 5000-square-foot space , at the intersection of Preston Road and Royal Lane, plans to carry upwards of 12,000 fiction and non-fiction works and have an event space with a capacity of 100 people.
Perot is a daughter of Ross Perot and has been involved in bookstore management for more than 25 years. Feathers, who will be Interabang’s buyer, is an assistant managing editor for online arts publication Asymptote and is on the board of the National Book Critics Circle.
The arrival of Interabang, named after a term for a punctuation mark that is both a question mark and an exclamation point, comes on the heels of the openings of The Wild Detectives in Oak Cliff in 2014, Deep Vellum in Deep Ellum in 2015, and The Last Word in Fort Worth last year.
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In November, we told you about the Japanese chain Kinokuniya announcing that it was opening two shops in North Texas. The Carrollton location was due to open today and the Plano location throws opens its doors next month.
As the Star-Telegram reported in October, all of this seems to be part of a national trend in which, despite the emergence of digital technology and the collapse of big chains like Borders, hard-copy books do still have an audience -- at least enough of a one to support small-scale, indie retailers.
Meanwhile, The Last Word has launched a GoFundMe campaign to raise $20,000 to help take the shop “to the next level.” Owner Paul Combs says that he wants to increase “the variety of fiction offerings” as well as launch “significant expansion of our non-fiction area (history, travel, art, and business were three areas frequently mentioned during the Christmas season).”
He goes on: “There are also some improvements to the store itself that need to be made, including making the back room more usable for book clubs and other groups. Finally, while we have done well making our presence known on social media platforms, a large segment of the population can still only be reached through print and/or radio marketing, and we have lagged in this area.”