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Luck Running Short at Lucky Dog Books in Oak Cliff

Dallas used book store to close after 6 years in Oak Cliff

Used book store Lucky Dog on Jefferson Boulevard in Oak Cliff will close for good next week unless a buyer appears, store owner John Tilton said Friday.

“If nothing else happens between Tuesday or Wednesday, then one of those days will be our last day,” Tilton said.

A Go Fund Me page and other efforts to drum up cash have failed to keep the store in business.

Customers visiting Friday were disappointed to hear it may soon be closed.

“That’s a shame. I’d love to see them stay in business. I think more people aught to be coming to places like this,” customer Earl Taylor said. “You just browse around. You never know what you’re going to find. You find something you didn’t know you were missing until you found it.”

Lucky Dog Books has tens of thousands of used books along with music on vinyl and CD, movies, comic books and snacks for visitors in the store.

Teacher Brittany Zielinski said she was visiting for the first time Friday after learning the owner planned to close the store.

“It’s kind of like a hidden gem that probably not a lot of people know about,” she said. “I really liked the idea that it was a used book store so you could come in and see something that someone else has enjoyed and someone else has liked.”

Many challenges face book stores these days with competition for reading time from other sources of entertainment and rival online book sellers that deliver without visiting a brick and mortar store.

But Tilton said too few customers embracing used books was one of the store's main problems.

“We just haven’t gotten people into the habit of recycling and it could be that it’s been so long since there’s been a real full-size book store here. People tend to keep their books when they’re not sure they’re going to be able to get more,” Tilton said.

Another problem according to the owner was the lack of parking on Jefferson Boulevard. At a shopping mall, people may walk long distances but when they saw no open spaces in front of his store, they kept on driving.

“In a place like this, people expect to be able to pull up and park right there,” Tilton said.

The Oak Cliff business was open for 3 years at the Jefferson Boulevard location and 3 more years before that on Davis Street.

There is another Lucky Dog used book store on Buckner Boulevard in the Casa Linda Plaza and the same owners have a Mesquite used paperback book store.

For the Oak Cliff Lucky Dog location, the luck runs out next week, barring a much larger stroke of luck.

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