• Dallas Literary Community and friends will co-curate our selection of books
• Lauren Smart will joins us to help us curate and design our literary events program
• We are extending our bar operating hours till 1am on Saturdays
• Dallas Literary Community and friends will co-curate our selection of books
It’s been 3 years since we opened our doors for the first time. Three years in which we’ve learned the trade as we went along. None of us knew anything about how to run a bookstore back then, let alone a bar. We’ve been incredibly lucky with how things have turned out in these past 3 years, all things considered. Dallas’ response has been nothing but generous, heartwarming, and supportive, surpassing our most daring expectations, and it still encourages us everyday to do what we do as good as we possibly can.
Every now and then the time comes to take on big changes
Growth implies change; since our first days, we’ve been gradually evolving, implementing different initiatives to enhance our customer’s experience. But every now and then the time comes to take on big changes to redefine what you are and what you do according to the things you stand for. As our bookstore-bar-venue turns 3, we think that it’s time for us to undertake those changes:
1. New curation system powered by Dallas Literary community.
Print books are surviving the ‘digital menace’ and sales have increased for the third year in a row. There is a national renaissance of the independent bookstore. Just here, in the Metroplex, 2 fantastic new bookstores, Deep Vellum (Dallas) and The Last Word (Fort-Worth), opened last year, and more will be joining this very year. We’re thrilled to be part of this ‘literary awakening,’ as local author Kathleen Kent calls it. Our city is demanding a bigger, better and more diverse cultural offering every day and we want to meet this challenge.
Over the past 3 years we’ve been selling books trying to find the right balance between the industry cycles and a curated selection, which has always been a challenge for us considering our limited shelving space. Keeping that balance between curation and a more general selection made sense to us, considering that we were the only independent bookstore in town. But we’re not anymore.
So, from now on, we’ve decided to move away from that model. And to do so, in the following days, we’ll be reaching out to Dallas Literary community –from writers to readers, from librarians to publishers and book-sellers, anybody we know involved in any way in the belles-lettres– and ask them to share a list of their favorite books with us. We’ll also reach out to friends in the literary community that we have across the globe: Spain, Mexico, Ireland, France, Australia, Chile and many other countries all over the map.
Every single book that we’ll have in our shelves will be recommended either by us or by someone from our reading community
The books on all those lists will be the books we’ll be selling on our shelves. With some time, we’ll be able to say that every single book that we have in our shelves has been recommended either by us or by someone from our reading community. Luckily, we have many book-lover friends here and abroad, and this initiative will allow us to refresh our selection constantly with a never-ending combination of interesting picks.
All of the above doesn’t mean that we won’t be bringing new books to our shelves. We will still sell a good number of new releases by authors that we love, but overall, we’ll reduce the amount of them slightly in relation to our co-curated selection. We will just focus on new books that we find relevant and move away from the quick-paced, high-volume industry cycles.
We want to close the circle and have our community as both subject and object of the curation efforts that are expected from us as a local independent bookstore. A few months from now, any book you get from our shelves will have been blessed by someone that we trust as a reader, whether it’s a new release, a well-known title or those others that went overlooked by the general public; a 100% community curated selection.
2. New literary programming. Welcome Lauren Smart.
In these last 3 years we’ve programmed over 300 literary/cultural events. It’s been such a ride. But we have the feeling we’ve lacked a certain focus. Were all the events that we had interesting enough? Rich enough? Probably not. Were these events addressing the topics that are relevant to our community? To a certain extent maybe, but probably not as much as we would have liked to.
In order to improve in this matter, we’ve decided to narrow our programming and curate our events with the same level of detail that we curate our books. We´ll try to limit our literary/cultural events to one a week, and make sure that we host events that you simply cannot miss.
We want to explore new formats to talk about Literature, formats that are more playful, more engaging
We want to move away from the book-presentation format in which an author comes, reads from her book, does some Q&A and signs. We want to explore new formats to talk about Literature, formats that are more playful, more engaging. We want to open a dialogue around those topics that matter to us as a community, a constant exchange of insights and ideas. We want to invite the local talent to bring their voices to the table and join the conversation. And above all, we want our community to feel empowered, energized and engaged by it.
In order to meet our goals in this front, we now count on the inestimable help of Lauren Smart who has recently joined our team. She’ll be helping us curate and give shape to the events that we’ll be bringing to our spot in the future. Lauren is no stranger to The Wild Detectives; she has already collaborated with us: last year she designed and successfully pulled off the challenging programming for Women Galore, our month-long festival focus on bringing visibility to women’s work in the arts, which will be back in May for its second edition.
Besides Lauren’s contribution, our friends from the vibrant Dallas literary community, who have always come up with great ideas for events and happenings in the past, will also keep being a fundamental part of our cultural programming.
And yes, in addition to all the above, we´ll keep doing music, plays and any other crazy thing you dare to propose us…
3. New opening hours. New cocktail program.
We’ve always wanted The Wild Detectives to be a place that fosters and nurtures conversations. Every chance we have had, we’ve been repeatedly saying that conversations open new realities to those who engage in them, that human interactions are what stories are made of, and that we, human beings, feast in stories.
We’ve always visualized The Wild Detectives as a space to hang out and have a drink
The best stories tend to happen late, surrounded by friends and with a drink within reach. That’s why, in the following days, we’re changing our opening hours; we’re extending our operating hours on Saturday nights till 1am, and we’ll be opening everyday at 10a instead of 8.30.
We’ve always visualized The Wild Detectives as a space to hang out and have a drink. We’ve paid a lot of attention to our selection of local craft beers, imported wines and cocktails since we opened, but our team, led by Victor Rimach, the Pisco Master, has really stepped it up a notch lately with a super sexy new cocktail program.
We’re thrilled about all the challenges we’re facing this year. We promise we’ll do our best to distill a unique experience for you. But enough talk for now. Let’s focus on the party we’re putting together to celebrate our 3rd Anniversary, a 7 band one-day festival that’ll keep you dancing all day long. On March 25th, come to Wild Beats at the Wild Detectives and celebrate life, terrible and beautiful as it is, with us!!!
The Wild Detectives is your local independent bookstore bar and venue in Oak Cliff. Serious Pleasures.