Wicked Good Books – Food For The Brain
By The BaldOne
Once in a Salem of long ago, when the Mayor was a Frenchman and our other U. S. Senator was a Republican I wandered into a new bookstore located in Derby Square. It was a neat and organized little operation run by a nice older couple named Munroe.
After some browsing time I settled on a paperback novel of middle-eastern espionage and intrigue titled, Thirty-Four East. It was the first book that I ever bought with my own money.
Twenty-five years later I wandered in to the same bookstore. It was still the same business and was now being run by the sons of the couple that opened the store so long ago. Much had changed as indicated clearly by the seemingly haphazard piles of book scattered around the room. The entire place seemed a curator’s conundrum,
Most people loved it even as the stacks of books became higher and more precipitous and the carpet became threadbare. Some were intrigued by the challenge of finding a book amongst the tall spires of books, while others were to terrified to even enter.
Times have changed. A new era has dawned in the world of the Salem bookworm.
Wicked Good Books has brought a wicked new attitude to town.
As you approach the store from any direction the first thing to catch your eye are the windows. You can stand on the outside to look in and actually see to inside of the store.
On entering you will discover that the spot where you used to have to narrow your shoulders and turn your hips in order to fit into the tight aisles has changed. Now it is wide spaces and a clean finished floor that greet you. Bright streams of sunlight bathe the room accompanied a cheery and comfortable atmosphere.
Wicked Good Books is not what many have come to expect at Derby Square. It is a breath of fresh intellectual oxygen. Filling your primal need to read is their priority.
It is easy to find what you are looking for. I went directly to the history section and found some civil war hard covers that were remnants of the Munroe Brothers. They were in good shape, written by reputable authors and certainly sated my desire to read of Grant and Lee, Jackson and Sheridan, and the West Point Class of 1846.
The old fireplace, which many of you probably never saw is exposed for all to see, as is a space for a wall safe and an ancient bricked over basement entrance. The desk is now located the back which serves well to open up the space throughout the store.
New titles are a part of the business plan and are there for you to browse. There is a section devoted to the summer reading list for Salem school kids and also a section for children’s books.
No matter how much you may miss the original funkiness of what is gone you must drop in to Wicked Good Books and see for yourself what it is that they bring to the reading table.
We are a city of restaurants, a city of museums, a city of history. Many a successful person has bas been born and raised here because we are also a city of intellect.
The next time you travel downtown to feed your belly at Rockafella’s, or to feed your soul at the First Church, consider a stop at Wicked Good Books to feed your brain.
Photos by JYS