The store is large, comfortable, and different from the chains. On the first level fiction, bargain books, a café, a demo kitchen, magazines, and a huge kid’s section are located. The second level is a small mezzanine and contains mystery and romance books. The third level is non-fiction and has a separate room for huge art books to be spread out on ottomans and has another separate area for authors to discuss their works and room for an audience. Legacy Books will never be one of those disorganized musty, dustyShakespeare and Company type of stores—it’s too sleek and modern and there were many attentive and pleasant workers wandering the floors.
When I arrived early to hear Ms. Kent speak about the Salem witch trials and her book,Sam Wyly was there talking about his latest book entitled 1,000 and an Idea: Entrepreneur to Billionaire. Mr. Wyly is a Dallas resident who founded such diverse companies as Bonanza Steakhouse, Green Mountain Energy, and Michael’s Stores. As I approached he was doing his best Ross Perot imitation. Apparently, he and Mr. Perot worked together at IBM before they both left to start their own companies. Mr. Wyly was very charming and interesting to listen to and he wrapped up his talk and signed books for friends and fans.
Ms. Kent was supposed to begin her talk promptly at 7 pm but an announcement was made that she would speak approximately 25 minutes later. I took the opportunity to leave my close-to-the-front seat to go put some purchases in my car and special order a book called Murder in Montparnasse by Howard Engel. This book is another mystery with Hemingway as a character (with a fictional name). I was not gone for more than 10 minutes and I had missed Ms. Kent’s introduction and she was already speaking. I was miffed at Legacy Books and marched back to my good seat to listen.
Ms. Kent’s talk made up for Legacy Books’ announcement faux pas. She spent about 25 minutes talking about Salem and the witch trials, her ancestors, and her research. She then took questions from the audience and there were quite a few very good questions as the witch trials are an interesting part of early American history. She then signed books and spoke to anyone who still had questions. The next book Ms. Kent is working on is about Martha Carrier’s husband, Tom. Martha was the ancestor of Ms. Kent’s who was hung for being a witch. The new book entitled The Giant of Edgehill is about Tom’s life before coming to America and sounds fascinating. Tom Carrier was approximately 7 feet tall and lived to be 109 years old. Apparently, he was involved in some historical events in England and Ireland before emigrating to America.
The only other issue I have with Legacy Books is that they never have called or gotten in touch via email to say that my special order book was in. I even communicated with them via their website to inquire about my special order and still have not received a response. I am going to hear another Dallas author speak soon (Ben Fountain) and will probably find Murder in Montparnasse on the shelf. I will attribute this experience to first week problems but probably will not special order from Legacy Books again. Dallas does need an independent book store and I will be frequenting Legacy Books in the future, especially to hear a variety of authors speak.