Ames´ New Independent Book Store: Dog-Eared Books


Erin Murphy

Cool finds corner

Shop local! The city of Ames finally has an independent book store after many years of waiting. Recently two Ames High School Class of 2001 graduates opened Dog-Eared Books at the beginning of March on Mainstreet. The goal of the bookstore is to combine their love of literature and dogs. The book selection is carefully selected to be inclusive and representative of all members in the community.

There’s multiple things you may notice right as you walk in. 1. The gorgeous bookshelves and tables 2. A bright pink neon sign with a chair and table below. 3. The mural behind the registers. 4. The best part of it all, a dog!

Lovie is one of the service dogs who roams throughout the bookstore. You may have to be a bit patient since Lovie is sure to greet everyone who walks through the door (she’s very serious about her job). She may be the first thing you see, wagging tail and all or she may surprise you from time to time when you aren’t even expecting it. You may also find Honey the other shop dog on duty from time to time. 

The view from the loft, overlooking the store (Erin Murphy)

The atmosphere of Dog-Eared books is like a sunday morning feeling. With a few tables, comfy chairs, free wifi, and coffee with pastries, it sets the tone for finishing up homework or curling up with a good read. A great social environment but also a place to seclude yourself to a book. You may find yourself petting a dog more than doing your homework but is that really such a bad thing?

Even those who may not be avid readers will be tempted to pick up a book and read on the spot. One thing that sets the bookstore apart from a library is that a majority of the books are hand picked favorites. Go ahead and choose a book by it’s attractive cover because chances are it’s a valued book worth the read. 

Several features to mention that help make this independent bookstore great is, two gender neutral bathrooms, a loft with a fireplace and comfy chairs, a previously loved book section, and a little corner dedicated to candles, some fun stickers, stationary and games.

One thing to note is, the coffee is limited. Down to the basic coffee, cream and three flavors. “We didn’t want to compete with Morning Bell and Café Diem by being a coffee place,” said cashier Jill Zmolek. Honestly, it doesn’t need to either with so many other great features.

The quaint space is exquisite, but there needs to be more! Although the book selection is great, I wish the store would go on forever, and a few more dogs couldn’t hurt either!

Leola Almquist, Erin Murphy and Haley Reeves enjoy the comfort of the Loft.