Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Next Stop On The Bookstore Tour!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                 This place meant a lot to me, earlier in my life.

                                  During what I call my spinsterhood youth, the store was known as Biography Books, located on the corner of Bleecker and Charles Streets.  They had a bio section, which justified the name, but also an excellent fiction collection, and two bargain tables outside, on which could be found some real gems.

                                   The store was owned by a married couple, whose first names were Carol and Chuck.  Carol was very friendly; I loved talking with her.  One of their staff members, Juan, was rather good looking, but knew the literature scene, which we sometimes discussed.

                                     On Friday evenings, during this time, it was my thing to go from work to the store, scout the tables or inside, for whatever I could find, and then dash across the street for a bite at the Magnolia Bakery.

                                       Well, times have changed, darlings.

                                         The Magnolia Bakery is still there--with rumors of rats circulating, which was not the case, back in the Nineties.  But Marc Jacobs brought out the space, and it became a slipshod outlet for his stuff.  I never felt the same about his designs afterwards.

                                           Carol and Chuck found a space on Bleecker, further down, between Sixth and Seventh Avenues, on 266 Bleecker Street.

                                            But here is the thing.  Because it was moved to a rather inconvenient locale, it got kind of lost, in the face of, say, Three Lives.  When I began this project, I knew I would have to visit it.  Yes, it is a bit of a slog, but I am glad I did.  I found some great items that I needed--a lot of Bret Easton Ellis, Jonathan Lethem, and Jay McInerney, for a fraction of what I would have paid for them, at the Strand!

                                             This was, and still is, a gold mine for mint condition of used books one may want to read.  I don't know if Carol and Chuck still own the place, or if Juan still works there, but the two I dealt with were helpful and heaven sent.  I had never thought of Lethem's "Chronic City," from 2009, as fitting in to my project, but let's see if it does.

                                               I came away both happy and sad.  There is something said for being the unobtrusive observer, and I happened to overhear that the store's lease is up in a year and a half.  They have been at the present location for, I would guess, at least ten years, and it would be a shame to see another indie store go.  So, please visit BookBook.

                                                And, if necessary, when the time comes, I will be out in front, doing my Joan Baez boycott thing to protest corporate greed closing down this place, and denying New York its entitlement to be a city of artistry and artists!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                                  Hurry on down, soon, you hear???????????????????????????


Videolaman said...

I'm one of those people who has an assortment of random objects positioned in their home that gets noticed (consciously or not) nearly every day. At the end of the bookshelf near my bed are Frank Capra's autobiography "The Name Above The Title" and Sidney Kirkpatrick's "A Cast Of Killers" expose of silent movie queen Mary Miles Minter's murder scandal.

Both were purchased at the old Biography Bookshop, way back in the '90s. I've read both several times since, always replacing them in the same spot on their shelf. Both are literally the last things my eyes fall on as I turn out my lights at bedtime every night. So that store is always in my thoughts, tho sadly I haven't been there in years (I had no idea they moved and changed monikers: I always thought they just went out of business).

BTW, "Cast Of Killers" seems to be one of those jinx projects that would make a fantastic movie but is doomed to never getting off the ground. Every few years major talent like Meryl or Spielberg gets attached, big announcements are made, then it fades back into unproduced obscurity. A shame, because this (true) tale had the potential to be another "Sunset Blvd". I'm beginning to fear the same for "Devil In The White Palace", which is long LONG overdue as either a feature film, or a season of "American Horror Story".

The Raving Queen said...

I loved "A Cast Of Killers, when it came out.
Thought it had great film potential. Ryan Murphy
today could make quite a thing of it.

You really should visit the bookstore in case
it goes. Yes, it is off the beaten track now,
but there are gems to be found.