At the annual New York Antiquarian Book Show, even the paper within a bookseller’s catalog, has a refined air. A fragrance if you will, of expensively printed sheets of paper, beautifully bound with my favorite illustration from In Powder and Crinoline by Kay Nielsen’s hand.Within its pages are detailed descriptions of tomes I’ve never heard of from so many years ago, it’s fascinating any exist. Blackwell’s Rare Books, Antiquarian and Modern, lists book prices in pounds, something that always throws me when calculating if I can afford a title. My initial reaction is, oh, that’s not so terribly high, then reality sets in and I double the price seen, and find not only can I not afford it, I can’t think of anyone who could.
To go directly to Indie GoGO to donate money to help get indie bookstore Monte Crisco up and running: http://www.indiegogo.com/montecristobookshop With major changes to the entire industry leaving the concept of a bookstore, period, on shaky ground, opening an independent bookshop during these uncertain economic times sounds like savings suicide. Yet, this is exactly what a pair of eager entrepreneurs, Chris Jones and Gina Holmes are doing. At least, hopefully will be doing, because as anyone who has ever tried to own and operate a business knows, it ain’t easy. Jones and Holmes, (sounds like a great name for a mystery series–the Jones and Holmes bookshop mystery series set on New London’s mean streets) are using an unusual method in which to raise funds to open the
Sometimes the urge comes on me, and I desperately need to be among old volumes. The scent of fine aged paper, unopened boxes of new acquisitions, rows of superior bindings and dust jackets, ordinary reading copies that will be passed along to some other biblio, is essential to my mental health. The spot I rush to is about three quarters of an hour from where I live–a pleasant enough drive on a busy highway-certainly not around the corner, but not in the hinterlands either. Bordentown NJ is one of those lovely historical towns with a rich background of revolutionary war, local industry, and upstanding homes. Francis Hopkinson–signer of the Declaration of Independence, Clara Barton–Red Cross founder, Joseph Bonaparte–Napoleon’s brother, Thomas Paine–author and patriot, and ‘Ginny
Sidewalk booksellers were a common sight in New York City when I lived there. And I frequently bought from them. At first I was surprised they were allowed to set up shop–I didn’t notice a merchant’s license, which vendors selling anything from berets to Falafel needed in order to stay in business. A friend of mine way back in the 80s was selling tee shirts to make some cash to support her acting bug. On the corner of Tiffany’s she had a pile of shirts. No table, or even over turned crates to support the wares. It was a discreet business. I was handing out flyers for an upscale shoe store a block away. The undercover police popped up and took my friend and her
“Book stores employ a very special class of condescending nerd… “If bookstores fall, America will be inundated with a wandering snarky underclass of unemployable mock purveyors of useless and arcane esoterica.” The Daily Show on Comedy Central usually targets politicians, pop culture, movie stars, and finds hilarious behaviors to out and bring to the forefront. Either by Jon Stewart, or by one of his many ‘correspondents’, a point will be made about something highly ridiculous and whatever the subject be, it gets its comeuppance. So imagine my surprise when Stewart and John Hodgman, one of his regular cohorts, begin discussing the downfall of Borders and the future of bookstores! Stewart begins the segment as though the audience needs to be informed of what ‘books’ are. “Books. You may know them as the thing Amazon tells you, you might be interested in, when you are buying DVDs. But did you know that books