Tulsa is a city of “districts.” Among them: Blue Dome District. Brady Arts District. Pearl District.
Are you ready for a “row?”
Bound for Glory Books is a book store located at 4264 E. 11th St. Kris Rose proudly says the store she co-owns is part of “Nerd Row,” a collection of unique shops located west of the 11th Street and Yale Avenue intersection.
Among the book store’s neighbors are a gaming store (Dice Addiction), a toy store (All Star Toys), a comic store (Mammoth Comics) and a store (Good Mischief) that offers weird resale items.
Jerod Nunnally, owner of All Star Toys, came up with the “Nerd Row” label, according to Rose. It was meant as a term of endearment.
“The first time I heard the term was after I had already moved in, when I met Good Mischief owner Michael Easter,” Rose said.
“He welcomed me to Nerd Row, and we started laughing about how apt the name was for our little strip of shops. If you like one of the stores on our strip, chances are you’ll also like another store as well, if not all of them. We definitely cater to different breeds of nerds: Sci-fi nerds. VHS horror movie nerds. Vinyl nerds. Indie movie nerds. 1960s underground comics nerds. Feminist nerds. UFO nerds. Art nerds. You name it.”
Rose, who opened Bound for Glory in the final month of 2016, said she qualifies as a nerd, though, like other nerds, she is choosy about nerdy passions. She doesn’t like superhero comics or fantasy novels or role-playing games or video games. But she can talk nonstop about the pros and cons of every John Carpenter movie, and she loves well-made dystopian sci-fi tales and has a special place in her heart for vintage girlie magazines.
“So there’s all types,” she said. “I feel like the ‘nerd’ brand in the media has very narrow connotations these days. Most of my friends are ‘nerds,’ and hardly any of them fit into the stereotypical mold of the cosplaying digital nerd. We love those guys too, but we definitely differ in some areas and overlap in others.”
When scouting out locations for Bound for Glory, did proximity to “nerdy” stores factor into the decision to open a book store in Nerd Row?
“It definitely made me feel that we would be in the right location,” Rose said.
But she said there was no scouting. She said it all fell into place because she and her husband are longtime Mammoth Comics customers. She was talking to Mammoth Comics owner Shawn Mears about expanding another of her book stores, The Book End in the Phoenix Cafe. She said Mears had storefront space rented in Nerd Row. Because she is comfortable with Mears, they reached an arrangement for the book store to occupy the east end of Nerd Row.
“It’s hard for any new business, and I can’t say for sure that we’ll make it, but we have all the advantages of a great location and great people on our side,” Rose said.
“All the owners are very friendly and helpful with one another. We feel totally supported by them. Chip (Knight, Dice Addiction owner), Jerod, Billy (Bell, Dice addiction manager) and Michael are all great neighbors, and, of course, I’ve known the people from Mammoth for close to 10 years now. We look out for each other and drop in and chat, have a drink, buy something now and then, (and) talk shop. It’s very cozy.”