|Le Journal des Demoiselles, 1857. Voluminous skirts, lacy finery, faces blandly identical.|
|Beyond My Ken|
|The Strand basement.|
|Beautiful to look at, but I wouldn't buy.|
|You never know what you may find inside an old binding.|
Finally I’ll mention another store that I just discovered in my neighborhood: Left Bank Books at 17 Eighth Avenue, a short ten-minute walk from my apartment. It specializes in hardcover literary first editions, especially fiction, poetry, drama, and literary nonfiction, but offers quality used books, mostly hardcover, on many subjects, in what one reviewer calls “an organized sprawl.” Why first editions? Because, the owner explains, they give you a feeling of being there when the book was new. It’s a small store where four or five people browsing are almost the limit, but a chair in back offers refuge to a browser with time to kill. You don’t get the musty smell of old books so beloved of bibliophiles, since the books tend to be of fairly recent vintage, but there are treasures to discover. Often seated near the entrance is the owner, Kim Herzinger, who fields queries and buys books in a courteous and knowledgeable way, and with a sense of humor. Thanks to him, I suspect, Left Bank Books gets uniformly good Yelp reviews, in contrast to so many of other stores where the staff leaves much to be desired. I have browsed there recently and sold him two books, and hope to be back soon, delighted to find such a store within easy walking distance.
Note on me and WNYC: The holiday season is a time for giving ... and for soliciting givers. As viewers of this blog know, in my modest way I help support two listener-supported local radio stations, WBAI and WNYC. WBAI is in the throes of yet another financial crisis and, as a result, is constantly changing its programs, for better and for worse. When in need of calm and stability, I take refuge with WNYC. But when their most recent plea for donations came, it occurred to me to ask if they take money from Monsanto or Goldman Sachs, two outfits I don't approve of. So far, no response. And therefore, so far, no donation. So it goes in the world of nonprofits.
Coming soon: Divorce, New York style.
© 2014 Clifford Browder