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Where to Shop for the Well-Dressed Book/A Tribute to a Great Bookstore



One of the best things about Ft. Wayne, Indiana (a city of considerable charm) is Hyde Brothers Booksellers, on the corner of 4th and Wells. It's worth going out of your way for. My Facebook profile picture (attached) was taken there, as was this picture of Marvin discussing Thomas Edison with the ever-knowledgeable Sam Hyde, owner. At Hyde Brothers, you'll find the rare, the quirky, the unusual and the unexpected. Marvin found a definitive work on Edison he hadn't known about before that day.

My beef with Amazon and the whole culture of on-line shopping is that you only find the stuff you're already looking for. A good bookstore will introduce you to things beyond your scope, and will expand your horizons. Serendipity can go to work.

The eponymous Mr. Hyde went out of his way for me yesterday. Shown are pictures of him on my front porch, relieving me of a decade's worth of accumulated extra books. For the most part, they were the sum of many, many, times I decided I needed that book more than I needed that dollar. (This was an unusual and gracious concession on his part--I had A LOT of books.)

It was hellzapoppin at my house yesterday, anyhow. Roofers, movers, brides, wives and friends in & out, and we all sort of tiptoed around Sam like he was a rock star, whispering to each other "That's Sam Hyde!!" as if he were Elvis. But it's understandable, too, because many people have been bettered by a book they found at Hyde Brothers, and many times, it's been because Sam (or his brother Joel, in the old days, or one of the excellent staff there) suggested the book that did the betterment.

We can't overestimate the impact of a great small business, and we should honor the ones we are lucky enough to have. I just wanted to express some appreciation for a place of rare excellence, especially in this time when book stores are few and far between. Check out Hyde Brothers: HydeBros.com


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