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Friday, October 1, 2010

No, We Are Not Leaving Northport!

Dog Ear Books is moving to downtown Athens, Ga., from Madison, about 30 miles away, the Morgan County Citizen reported. The store's last official day in Madison was yesterday. Dog Ear should open in Athens later this month.”

When this little item caught my eye in this morning’s “Shelf Awareness” newsletter, I was glad all over again that our local newspaper, the Leelanau Enterprise, had spelled my business name correctly in the article they ran this week. The Georgia bookstore, you see, is Dog EAR Books, and I’ve gotten that spelling many times over the years. There is also a California store called Dog EARED Books, out in San Francisco. We in Northport, Michigan, however, are Dog EARS Books and always have been. One dog, two ears. That’s us.

I know that the California people have the more descriptive name (although we never dog-ear books at our house—well, almost never; cheap paperbacks are an exception to the rule), and I wish the Georgia people all manner of good fortune in their new home (‘Athens’ has a nice ring to it, don’t you think?), but our store has been Dog Ears since it opened in 1993, and now that we’re back on Waukazoo street again, just up the block from where we started, why would we go anywhere else?

But now, here it is—I have to come clean about this—there is another Dog Ears. Yes! We are not the only one! The other one is in Ottawa, Ontario. I’d love to visit it sometime.

But there’s also another Dog Eared, in Montreal, so the San Francisco people don’t have a lock on the past-participle version of our related names.

I wonder if all these other stores have dogs or if they had dogs when they first opened. We did and do. We had Nikki, who was as much a part of the name as were the books, and now we have Sarah, the second Dog Ears dog. If only a dog could read, she would never get bored in a bookstore.


Anonymous said...

You do realize, Pamela, that Athens, Georgia, is where my in-laws live? Another Dog Ear bookstore to visit! (I am glad you are not moving south...)

P. J. Grath said...

Just looked at a road atlas and see that Athens is not all that far from where my Aunt Diane lives, so maybe I can swing by there sometime. At first I was thinking of Athens, Ohio, which would also be south from where I live.

Anonymous said...

Look at that pretty Sarah trotting off up the two-track in search of adventure! It is good, I think, to have a bookstore firmly rooted in tradition. Bookstores should not be ephemeral.

I am thinking of opening a book recyling center over on this side of the Bay. Just a place to socialize when the snow devils swirl across US31 and there's no getting out of the Township. We could pass around our dogeared copies of paperbacks all winter.

Or knit. Cora Stoppert thinks we should all make sweaters. Of course she thinks that. She already knows how. And socks. I digress.

P. J. Grath said...

Bookstores...traditional...not ephemeral. That's just the way I always thought about banks, didn't you? Ha!

You could, at least, have a knitting club and book exchange evening once a week during the winter. My friend Sally of Dolls and More is open on Wednesday evenings for Knitting Night, and I'm sure it keeps many folks sane in the season of short days and long nights. Maybe one person--someone who is not a knitter--could read aloud to the others? I'd be glad to volunteer but will be too far away....

Dawn said...

Well I'm glad you're not moving to GA! the puppy picture!

P. J. Grath said...

Thanks, Dawn!

dmarks said...

Not a bad name for a bookstore at all. It implies read/enjoyed books, and not damage.

That's not the case with "Tattered Cover", the name of a famous Denver bookstore. The name to me implies ratty books, like you'd find in a Salvation Army reject box. And that's clearly not the case as I found out when I went there.

P. J. Grath said...

Hi, dmarks. I'm envious--you've been to Tattered Cover. That's an iconic and legendary used bookstore. I aspire to their status but will probably never have a store that size.