dog ears books

for most of 2021 i was living in bennington, vermont, and visiting dog ears books regularly to spend significant portions of my pandemic unemployment benefits, sit for hours on the floor of the art history section, and chat with the old men who ran the place. lou, the shop’s sole employee, became a real pal of mine, and in a way so did geoffrey, “geoff,” the shop’s 96 year old owner. in the weeks before i moved from vermont to nyc, i recorded nearly three hours of audio conversations with lou and geoff, and almost as much video footage. i lost nearly all of my documentation in a data transfer when i got a new phone, and all i have left is about an hour of footage, mostly b-roll, and the photos from my camera. in june 2023, i screened an “extended trailer” for a documentary that will always remain unfinished. on this page, you can discover the “extended extended trailer” and my photos of lou, geoff, the startlingly obese white cat trinitiy, “trin”/“honkey,” and the endless maze of books that i loved to lose myself in. 

some things to imagine while browsing: 
- opera playing loudly on the radio, geoff humming along
- if it’s winter, the giant wood burning stove crackling in the middle of the barn
- lou behind the shelves, muttering something about too many damn books
- the deep smell of thousands and thousands of unfinishable stories


Below is a collection of photos as well as some video clips that didn’t make it into the “extended preview” screened in June 2023. 

This is Lou showing me his military ID card. The details of his story, recorded on audio, have been lost. 

The Annex

Tucked back behind a grove of trees and weeds is a second barn Geoff and Lou call the Annex. I lost the video footage of Lou showing me around and telling me about the unsorted, unpriced books kept here, along with the history of how Geoff founded the bookshop.
In the wooden garage on the left, everything from astronomy to health to theater history are stacked in towering piles and squeezed into shelving racks from floor to ceiling. On the right, the “Art Annex” is housed by two floors of old brick and rickety wood beams. Here, auction house catalogs, artist monographs, and even print collections sit in disorganized boxes and pile up every spare inch of floor. Sometimes, Lou would unlock this barn to let me shop for the special stuff at a discounted price. My bookshelves have largely been lifted from this disorganized, beautiful mess.