Does Ms. Dawn T. Bo sell Tae Bo exercise equipment? Do people hock their used exercise equipment at Pawn Treader? Are quilts, pillows, and winter jackets available at Down Trader Books?
Bill Gilmore, owner of Dawn Treader Book Shop on E. Liberty St., says he began displaying shipping labels with incorrect spellings of his store’s name some thirty years ago. “I thought they were amusing, so I thought I’d amuse the masses,” he explains. Other labels posted on the wall near the register include W A Gillmore Book Compa, Dawm T Books, and Don Trater. A quote from John Ruskin and an accurate label for Toots’ Tobacco & Book Den in Westerville, Ohio, are mixed in for fun.
Gilmore opened Dawn Treader nearly forty years ago, naming it for a ship in C.S. Lewis’s Narnia young-adult series. That whimsical reference has since eluded countless correspondents. He says he had even more misspelled labels on Dawn Treader’s glass door when the shop was in the basement across the street, but when he moved, his then-landlord scraped them off before he could salvage them.
Gilmore also owns a store in Royal Oak. Does he display incorrect labels there, too? “No,” he says. “People don’t make mistakes with Classic Book Shop.”