word craft


Book Stores

Book presentIf you love book­stores as much as I do, go to this arti­cle on LitHub.

I have my own per­son­al con­nec­tions to some of these book stores, The Strand (in NYC), Pow­ell’s (In Port­land, OR), and City Lights (San Fran­cis­co, CA).

When grow­ing up in NYC, “Book Store Row,” Fourth Avenue—with its many, many book stores—was a favorite haunt of mine. For my six­teenth birth­day, my father took me to The Strand, and said, “Buy any­thing you want up to twen­ty-five dol­lars. And if it’s a lit­tle more, don’t worry.”

In 1953, twen­ty-five bucks was a huge amount of mon­ey ded­i­cat­ed to used books. Using an online infla­tion cal­cu­la­tor, I deter­mined that in today’s cash that’s two hun­dred and fifty dol­lars. Wow, indeed! Talk about sweet six­teen. Amaz­ing­ly enough, I still have a few of what was then the big box of books I brought home that long-time-ago birth­day. But then I always feel that when I open a book I’m unwrap­ping a present.

When I trav­el, one of the places I inevitably find is a book store. Why go to the Eif­fel Tow­er when I can go to Shake­speare and Co?

More than twen­ty years ago I met my wife in a book store. She was man­ag­ing it. We still have a lot of books—and our mar­riage. Horace, the Roman essay­ist wrote, “A house with­out books is a body with­out a soul.”

To tell the truth, I buy books recre­ation­al­ly. So it was when we moved a few years back after sell­ing our Den­ver home and mov­ing to the moun­tains, I gave away some three thou­sand books—to a used book store.  It was a place called—if I remem­ber correctly—Books for a Buck. I gave the books away for noth­ing, hop­ing that some six­teen-year-old with twen­ty five bucks in his/her pock­et found some­thing to fill their soul.

1 thought on “Book Stores”

  1. We are for­tu­nate to still have many inde­pen­dent book­stores near­by, in the bay area. I can relate to the romance of these enclaves; warm shel­ters from the cold world out there.


Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Subscribe to Blog via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Recent Posts