Bookstore visit: Derby Square

by drpoppy

I accidentally came across the most amazing bookstore last weekend: the Derby Square Bookstore in Salem, Massachusetts. Amid the goth gift shops and the outdoor stalls selling custom-fitted vampire teeth, the totally bewitching Derby Square Bookstore offers piles and piles and piles of books. Seriously, the books are just piled up! Here’s what we first saw from the outside:

Derby Square from outside

The window caught our eye right away...

Look at how those books are just piled against the window! Let’s check out another angle:


Observe how those books are just bent all willy-nilly and smooshed against the glass.  Here’s what the same pile looks like from the inside:

book pile from inside

The apparent disregard for the laws of gravity is spellbinding, no? You may be wondering how you could possibly find anything in here. But luckily, there are helpful signs:


helpful signs point the way

As you can clearly see, in this pile, Young Adult novels are at the bottom, History books are at hip level, and True Crime is at the top. Easy!

Here you can also see how there are books in front of books as well as on top of each other:

piles of books

not only piled up, but also piled out

Not only does the Derby Square Bookstore have an amazing number of books easily organized, but they also boast an impressive cataloguing system. For instance, I walked up to the cashier (picture Comic Book Guy from the Simpsons and you get the idea) and said, with obnoxious dubiousness, “I don’t guess you can tell me if you have a particular book, can you?” He claimed he could. Impressed, I asked if they had a particular title. He paused for a moment, looked up to the corner of his eyes, thought obviously very hard, then looked at me and said, “No.” Infallible!

Not only does the bookstore have piles of books, those books are all 50 percent off the list price. I found a copy of The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson in the very middle of a huge pile and, with the help of a friend, successfully removed it without toppling anything, and then purchased it. I also purchased a copy of The Blithesdale Romance by Nathaniel Hawthorne, which was located in the “New England” section, because it only seemed right to buy a scary book and a Hawthorne book while visiting the witch capital of the world.

I would highly recommend visiting the Derby Square Bookstore if you are ever in Salem. It’s more thrilling than the Witch Museum and will utterly enthrall you.