A Visit to the Book Doctor Turned Into a Story

I stumbled across the Book Doctor’s shop while walking around Dallas’ Bishop Arts District one day. It’s a tiny shop, nestled in the corner of a strip of stores.

I went into the store and started talking with the shop’s owner, Julie, a.k.a. the Book Doctor. She told me fascinating anecdotes about her customers, many of whom are book sellers or self-described bibliophiles. They seemed to carry tales that were as interesting, if not more interesting, than the books they bring in for repairs.

Julie told me that she is 12 weeks behind on orders. I wondered, with the economy the way it is, why are so many people looking to get their books repaired? Julie said she believes it’s because of the sentimental value that’s attached to books. People really do love reading, so much so that they’re willing to spend upwards of $1,000 repairing their books and Bibles.

After talking with Julie, I felt compelled to write a story about her, her shop and her customers.

You can read my Book Doctor story here.

Published by Mallary Tenore Tarpley

Mallary is a mom of two young kiddos -- Madelyn and Tucker. Mallary absolutely loves being a mom and often writes about the need to find harmony when juggling motherhood and work. Mallary is the Assistant Director of the Knight Center for Journalism in the Americas at the University of Texas at Austin, where she manages the Center's various programs related to distance learning, freedom of expression, and digital journalism. Previously, she was Executive Director of Images & Voices of Hope and Managing Editor of The Poynter Institute’s media news site, Poynter.org. Mallary grew up outside of Boston and graduated from Providence College in Rhode Island. In 2015, she received a certificate in nonprofit management from Duke University. She now lives in beautiful Austin, Texas, with her kids, husband Troy and cat Clara. She's working on a memoir, slowly but surely. You can reach her at mjtenore@gmail.com.

5 thoughts on “A Visit to the Book Doctor Turned Into a Story

  1. Interesting story, Mallary. One thing that perplexes me: How does one manage to spill bleach AND salsa on a beloved book? I hope they were at different times. 🙂

  2. Thanks! Well, the Book Doctor told me that the man was eating chips and salsa while reading a book his friend lent him. He got salsa on the book’s pages, so to clean up the mess, he put a little bleach on the pages, which turned into a lot of bleach. Finally, his wife said something to the effect of, “Honey, we need to take this book to the Book Doctor!”

    I’ll confess: I’ve totally been guilty of accidentally leaving crumbs in the pages of borrowed books, haha, but I have yet to spill salsa and bleach on them!

  3. Thank you!

    I walked past the Book Doctor today on my way to lunch in Bishop Arts, smiled and thought of you.

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