Just in case you’ve wondered, we’ve been on kind of a stay-cation this past week. One of the things we like to do is explore small towns in Ohio, and whenever there is a bookstore, to check it out. On Friday, we spent part of the day having lunch and looking around Clifton Mill. Then we too a short drive from there over to Yellow Springs, Ohio, the home of Antioch College, and Dark Star Books at 237 Xenia Avenue in the heart of the shopping district of Yellow Springs.
Visiting Yellow Springs is kind of like stepping into a time warp and being transported back to the late 60s, early 70s–a very hippie, counter-culture setting. Dark Star Books has that kind of feel with an interesting twist. The store was started by Mary Alice Wilson after a career in teaching. She began with her son’s comic book collection and comic books and items related, like science fiction, fantasy, role-playing games, and suspense, mystery, and thriller literature are emphases of the store. We even picked up a Star Trek comic our son didn’t have (with his help on the cell phone). At the counter, we were telling Frank, the comic buyer about our son having his want list, and Frank said, “Have him send it to me!” It’s that kind of place.
The back part of the store caters to more to those with our tastes, with everything from cookbooks to history, to science and metaphysics sections. Although it was not entirely the case, it felt a bit that we had stepped back into the late 60s, early 70s in this part of the store. It seemed that a significant part of the books, not all, were the kinds of things we were reading back then–Teilhard de Chardin, Herbert Marcuse, and the like. But I did find a nice copy of the one volume condensation of Lee’s Lieutenants, along with a John Innes mystery, which was not easy to come by.
In talking with Frank, we learned that the store has had increased sales this year, a trend that seems to be true with many Indie stores. We also noted that they do buy books from customers but appreciate a call ahead because they are not always able to evaluate books on the spot.
After wandering a bit more around Yellow Springs, we finished our trip to these parts by stopping at Young’s Jersey Dairy, about 2 and a half miles north of Yellow Springs on US Rt. 68. This is an attraction for kids and adults with demonstrations, a play area, putt-putt, a restaurant and a store that sells dairy products, has a grill for the lunch crowd, and an ice cream counter, which was our destination. A nice way to finish off the day in this part of Ohio!