Archive | 10:23 AM

Book Gem in Dayton (Ohio) for the Traveling Bibliophile

16 Nov

You all had such an overwhelmingly positive response to my Chicago Book Gems post that I decided to continue it during some more of my travels. Last weekend, I took a short drive down to Dayton, Ohio to visit my brother. Of course, I had to involve at least one bookstore jaunt in my travels and my brother took me to Bonnett’s Bookstore, opened in the Oregon District for over 50 years.


Unfortunately, we ate a late dinner and only had a half hour to explore before they closed at 8 PM. I was expecting a store like the ones I frequent in Ann Arbor, MI, but this was a completely different animal.


Well, it wasn’t exactly a cat, but it was quite different. In addition to piles and piles of books, there were toys all along the walls and even hanging from the ceiling! The owner (who my brother says is always behind the register) told us he doesn’t sell them, but they give the store a lot of character and a childhood-flashback feel that I haven’t gotten in another store. There were some newspaper clippings on the wall to let us know the owner’s father had started the store and they’ve been operating in Dayton ever since.

The books were loosely arranged and it was a bit hard for me to find the general fiction I’m a fan of. My husband and brother found some other interesting books before I found my section and only after I got trapped in a dead-ended Western section. There was precious little general fiction, but there was an abundance of Science Fiction and a lot of comic books. The selection was much more diverse than I’m used to in used bookstores, but it was also a bit more dated. There wasn’t much in terms of newer books. This would be the ideal place to pick up a backlog of a popular author, especially SciFi, thriller, or action. I couldn’t count the number of Clive Cussler books I saw.

IMG_2480The toys were very unique and I hope you can tell from my pictures how many there were! Almost every shelf was topped with Disney and Looney Toons characters. To be honest, it was almost distracting from the books. (Almost.) I didn’t have enough time to browse the way I wanted to, but I did see two books I almost bought (my lovely husband reminding me of my huge shelf of unread books at home being the only thing that slowed me down). Hubby was able to find a copy of The Giver which he teaches every year to his students and decided to pick it up as a teacher copy. To give you an idea of prices, we paid $4 for it, which isn’t bad for a used bookstore price at all.

If you’re ever in Dayton, this place is worth checking out! I’m told there are a few other places around, but I’m not sure they have as much character as this store. (Or as many characters, ha!)

I’ll have to keep doing posts like this since it gives me a great excuse to go to bookstores on my travels! I can highlight a few places near my hometown as well in case any of you plan on taking a Detroit vacation.

Until next time, write on.

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