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Ferguson Books to open Dickinson store by Christmas

Ferguson Books
Dane Ferguson with two employees at the soon to open Ferguson Books store in downtown Dickinson.
Jason O'Day / The Dickinson Press
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DICKINSON — Just in time to cozy up next to the fireplace with an intriguing book, a new business seeks to open a world of opportunities by providing Western Edge residents with an novel escape.

Dane Ferguson, owner of Ferguson Books, said he hopes to launch with a soft opening at some point in early December, with his goal to be fully open by Christmas. Ferguson's other store locations include West Fargo, Grand Forks and Bismarck, and the business is noted for accepting trade-ins of gently used books in exchange for 25-50% discounts on items throughout their stores.

Ferguson said he does pop-up book sales throughout the Dakotas, Minnesota and occasionally in Montana.

The budding Dickinson location was previously home to the Odd Fellows Lodge Bar, a hot spot during the city's First-on-First summer festivities. According to Ferguson, development of the Dickinson Town Square enabled the group to move its bar events and lease the space to him.

Ferguson Books is a regional chain started by Dane Ferguson and his brother Taylor in 2010 during an economic recession.

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Dane said there was public outcry in Grand Forks, which lost multiple corporate bookstores. The operation is now run by Dane, with help from his business partner Roger Sutton. Dane’s wife Elizabeth, a former elementary school teacher, also helps out when she’s not busy taking care of their four sons. They range in age from 4 to 13.

“I was like, ‘Well I guess I’m foolish enough to start my own business at 24. So we’ll give it a shot,’” Ferguson said.

He explained that it’s been a wild ride of good and bad years, but that he remains focused on connecting customers with the books they love.

“We’ve made a lot of mistakes along the way… We just try to persevere through it, keep a growth mindset and figuring out, you know, this is what communities want,” he said. “We took a bet back in 2010, when everyone kind of wrote us off like Blockbuster because media was being streamed and consumed differently. But reading a book on a printed page is a totally different experience than reading something digitally on your phone or tablet. And we knew that.”

Ferguson explained that he and his wife share a lifelong passion for books of all stripes.

“My wife and I, one of our pastimes is browsing for books. Like I’ve collected books my whole life,” he said. “I'm definitely not as well read as my staff, which makes us a strong company because they're, you know, flying through books left and right, while I'm flying down the highway, trying to get things going and taking care of my four boys.”

One 2016 Yale study of approximately 3,600 subjects found that people read a book for 30 minutes daily live an average of 23 months longer than those who read magazines or don’t read at all. It suggested that reading books improves vocabulary, concentration and critical thinking skills.

“Second, books can promote empathy, social perception, and emotional intelligence, which are cognitive processes that can lead to greater survival,” the authors stated.

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For more information about Ferguson Books, visit their website at fergusonbooks.com.

Jason O’Day is a University of Iowa graduate, with Bachelor’s Degrees in Journalism and Political Science. Before moving to Dickinson in September of 2021, he was a general news reporter at the Creston News Advertiser in southwest Iowa. He was born and raised in Davenport, Iowa. With a passion for the outdoors and his Catholic faith, he’s loving life on the Western Edge. His reporting focuses on Stark County government and surrounding rural communities.
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