Dickens' Curiosity Shop, a local science-fiction and curio shop, wants to offer “more than just bars and church events” in the Muscatine area on weekend nights, hoping to ultimately include gaming, trivia nights, Dungeons and Dragons, magic and more.
The shop, 207 W. 2nd St., opened Sept. 1 and sells collectibles, books and art items. It also plans to offer entertainment.
“We’re just trying to do something different that nobody else is doing,” said Kim Dickens, owner. “We’re a bookstore with a science-fiction and fantasy emphasis, but we also include comics and collectibles and other things that are of interest to our kinds of fans. So that means lots of Dr. Who, Harry Potter, Star Wars, Game of Thrones, Dungeons and Dragons, Munchkin, Magic — the card game — and other stuff like that.”
Dickens was inspired by her own interests, as well as what she saw as a void in the local entertainment market.
“Nobody is doing anything like this,” she said. “This is what I always liked doing growing up. My family would play games, like card games or role-playing games. I remember playing Magic the Gathering and having big game nights and it being so much fun. I like being a social person and meeting up with friends and everything, but I’m not big on going to the bars, and otherwise it just seems like the other thing people do is church activities, but that’s not for me either. I wanted something for people who are like me, science-fiction and gaming and fantasy fans, someplace where we could hang out and drink coffee or whatever and talk about Dr. Who or Game of Thrones or whatever.”
“I think there are a lot of people out there like us,” said Holly Hunter, events manager. “But they just haven’t had anyplace else to go to do this, just like us. Hopefully this will become that place for them.”
In October, Dickens will offer Halloween-themed events, including a holiday fest from 5 to 8:30 p.m. Oct. 14 during the downtown Second Sunday celebration. A Harry Potter-themed gig, it will include a costume contest, Potter-themed games and arts and crafts, butterbeer and more than you can shake your wand at.
“If you’re a Harry Potter fan, you don’t want to miss it,” Hunter said. “And even if you’re not a Harry Potter fan, it’s going to be a great Halloween party.”
The shop also hosts a Monday Writers Workshop for aspiring writers from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. and hopes to have guest authors speaking and doing readings from their works.
“We’re going to have workshops on writing horror and science-fiction and fantasy, the genres that we primarily carry in the store,” Dickens said. “I know a lot of people who write in the same genre they read and I think it’s going to be really popular.
“We’re trying to create our own literary community here,” she added. “I think there are a lot of creative people here but they just haven’t had places to meet up and hang out. We’re hoping to provide that. I love that idea, the idea of mixing all of those things together and having this gathering of like-minded people.”
Dickens' Curiosity Shop is open Monday-Thursday, noon to 6 p.m.; Friday and Saturday noon-8 p.m.
For more information on the shop, visit the store's Facebook page at facebook.com/lilDickens/.