By Phedre Dumouriez
An indie shop born from the love of literature and writing, “A Novel Idea” runs on a simple truth - bookstores are only as good as the materials they carry – so this must mean that Asphyxiation Point’s local haven for readers and writers alike has got to be one of the best! With their eclectic selection and their willingness to help with special orders, the shop has a little something for everyone.
Owned and operated by Amata Dawson (recent wife to Gage Dawson of Grateful Meds – the marijuana dispensary just down the street) “A Novel Idea” has been in business since February of this year. Having grown up around books, Amata shared with the AP Times that, “the idea of owning a dusty little shop where people can sit and drink coffee and read, like a library for adults, appealed to me.”
This reporter took a few minutes to ask some additional questions of the owner, and what follows below are her answers:
Q: What’s your favorite section of the store?
A: My favorite section right now is banned books. A small collection in the back of titles that were, at one time, controversial. Like "Well of Loneliness" and "Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee".
Q: How do you go about stocking your shelves?
A: (The books) have to be shipped in, and I bring them in from all corners of the world. Special orders are my forte. You know, shippers are so nice, I can always find someone willing to go in with me to get things to the island.
Q: If you had more space and funds, what would you add to make it even more welcoming?
A: I try to keep snacks and coffee all the time, and … I rely on local businesses for that. With the passage of recreational marijuana - thank you fellow voters! - I'd like to expand to include some gift items, like candles from a new strain Gage is working on that smells like cocoa, or lotions. And I'd add a little, well-ventilated smoking den in the back so people could chill with a joint, a coffee, and one of the existentialists.
Q: Who’s the weirdest client you’ve ever had?
A: The only weirdos are people who don't like books.
Q: What is your favorite memory about visiting book stores when you were a kid?
A: I spent a lot of time in Louisiana with my gramma growing up. She had this favorite grocery stand she loved by a botanica. That's where I got a feel for what book shop should feel like. It should smell like ritual, and be a place for (people) to gather. It should stock those things you need, or don't know you need until you see them.
When asked if she had any last comments to share, Amata offered the following: “Get lost in a book… Not on the way… You can find A Novel Idea at the corner of Eagle Ridge and Seventh, next to the courthouse.”