Dreamhaven is Closing

October 27th, 2011

One of my favorite book stores will be closing in January. When I lived in Minneapolis I was just two blocks north of their old location. I would walk down to Dreamhaven and marvel at all the old science fiction paperbacks. I got all my Delany and Lovecraft there. Beautiful old paperbacks with that scent that comes off the cheap paper when you unseal the plastic protector. I sometimes found myself contemplating how much better my childhood would have been had I grown up near Dreamhaven. I would have read a lot less of that TSR crap that got shoved out by the bucket, and a lot more of the grand masters of imagination.

I moved to Portland, and Dreamhaven moved south to a different storefront at the same time. The sale was fantastic, and I stocked up on Lieber, Dick, Heinlein, Sturgeon and so many others. The nice paperbacks cost a bit more, but if you weren’t worried about the pages falling out from time to time, you could practically get books by the pound.

Neil Gaiman once said that you had to love the place because it stocked a category called “vintage smut.” I respect that kind of cheeky, but the staff (and the books, as discussed above) were what brought me back. They were always some of the nicest people I’d see all day. That mattered when they were in the dense pack of used bookstores that you find in Uptown Minneapolis.

Apparently moving to the new smaller storefront went well for a while, but Greg, who runs this blessed place, says that foot traffic has gone down over the last year. I’d be tempted to blame the location change, but that would be getting my timing wrong. I’ve been gone over three years, and he says the walk-ins slowed just last year. Still, when I go back to Minneapolis I try to always make it down there, and it is harder in the new location, but that may be because I’ve always been sort of bound to Uptown.

I won’t be back in the Cities before January, so, sadly, I’ve been to Dreamhaven for my last time, and I didn’t even know it. The website will still sell, and Greg is apparently keeping the location, but just to use as a storehouse. It’s good to know it’s not the complete end of Dreamhaven, but you can’t get that Ace Double smell off a website. I’ll miss you Dreamhaven.

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