Featured Indie Bookstore: The Wild Detectives | Dallas, Texas

This bookstore-and-bar hybrid space was born out of a friendship between two Spanish civil engineers who wanted to create a community gathering spot for people to get drinks, open up, and have conversations that would change their worldview. The books in the space are curated by local publishers and booksellers in the Oak Cliff neighborhood of Dallas and beyond. 

What is the background of this bookstore? 

The Wild Detectives is a Dallas-based independent bookstore. It was founded in 2014 by Javier Garcia del Moral and Paco Vique, two Spanish civil engineers who met for the first time while working as expatriates in Dublin, Ireland. This led to a long-term friendship, which led to The Wild Detectives bookstore, a place where we could share everything that shaped our friendship over the years. 

What other services and products do you provide for your customers?

WD is a bookstore, café, and bar that combines the delights of literature with food, drinks, and socializing. We wanted to create a venue where people could gather to enjoy literature, have important conversations, and build community. The Wild Detectives has become a popular cultural destination in Dallas, noted for its welcoming ambiance, well curated book selection, and entertaining programming. It has been named one of the greatest bookstores in Dallas by many magazines and has become a favorite place for book lovers, intellectuals, and creatives alike. The Wild Detectives organizes a variety of activities and events in order to foster a dynamic literary and cultural community. 

We are well-known for the following activities:

Author Readings and Book Signings: The bookshop organizes readings and signings by local, national, and worldwide writers on a regular basis. It provides readers with the ability to interact with their favorite authors, discover new voices, and receive insights into the creative process.

Book Clubs: where readers can meet to debate and analyze a specific book or theme. These book clubs allow literary aficionados to express their ideas, engage in important discussions, and interact with other readers.

Live Music: The bookstore frequently hosts live music performances by local musicians and bands. These events foster a vibrant atmosphere and provide a platform for new artists to demonstrate their abilities. Folk, indie, jazz, and more genres are represented in the music.

Art Exhibitions: The Wild Detectives conducts art exhibitions exhibiting the work of local artists on a regular basis. Painting, photography, mixed media, and other artistic forms and mediums are represented in these exhibitions. It’s a chance for local artists to obtain visibility, as well as for tourists to enjoy and support local creativity.

And Literary and Cultural conversations Film so much more including Screening, Workshops and Classes and Community activities

What is some background on yourself? How did you find your role in this bookstore?

I’m a civil engineer from Spain who has relocated to various countries for work. Eventually, I settled in Dallas, where my friend Paco and I established a bookstore. I oversee the bookstore, managing the activities program and overall operations.

What do you like most about working in this bookstore? 

I have a passion for various things, including music and other art forms. The Wild Detectives provides an incredible space where I can indulge in all of these interests. Having a bar within the space greatly contributes to creating a fantastic atmosphere, allowing for meaningful interactions with others and enhancing the diverse events we host.

Do you see any common reading trends among customers?

In recent years, I’ve noticed a shift in people’s focus towards social issues and a greater interest in engaging with the conversations taking place in our society. There seems to be a growing demand for essays and memoirs compared to contemporary fiction. However, we strive to maintain a balance in our bookstore. While we offer titles that are relevant to current events, we also curate a significant selection of fiction. Fiction may not provide direct understanding of certain topics like non-fiction does, but it can be equally helpful and fulfilling in different ways to understand the world we live in.

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Article originally Published in the June / July / August 2023 Issue: Summer Reads

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