No, I’m not talking about Disneyland.
I’m talking about this place, The Strand Bookstore, right off of Union Square.
The Strand’s slogan is either “18 miles of books” or “Where books are loved,” I can’t really tell, as they have both phrases plastered across coffee mugs and book totes, but either way…you can tell this place is amazing.
Seriously, if someone was only in Manhattan for an afternoon, I’d say go to Central Park and go to this place. And you’ll have had a pleasant NYC visit. I saw on a sign outside The Strand that you can rent out the place for events — birthday parties, fundraisers, even weddings. Personally, if they started renting out aisles between the rows of books for you to set up an air mattress, I’d be interested in signing a lease.
Only sort of.
If you want to see me sublimely, transcendentally, euphorically happy, take me to The Strand.
If you want to see me deeply frustrated and ruffled, tell me I’m only allowed to buy one thing at The Strand today.
The Strand is a wonderful hodgepodge of new, used, and rare titles. They also have some of the most thoughtfully curated table selections, from “Best of Underground” to “Cult Classics.” There are handwritten notes sprinkled out of volumes here and there, detailing why this sales associate or that one suggests this read. Everyone who works there lives and breathes books.
It’s no Barnes & Noble. (And I love B&N.)
I paid a visit here last night to kill some time while waiting to meet up with a friend-of-a-friend (Caitlin, if you’re reading this, I have helped advance the cause for Post-Grad Employment of Minnesotan English Majors). I don’t need any more new books, but I was so tempted by a $7 copy of Siddhartha Mukherjee’s The Emperor of All Maladies, which is on my non-fiction to-read list.
But, guys. I didn’t buy anything.
Not a thing.
And for that, I think I deserve a new book as a reward.
I did, however, add two more books to my to-read list: The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz, and Naked City: The Death and Life of Authentic Urban Places by Sharon Zukin. So that only makes my to-read list, like, what? 2,948,204,982 gazillion books?
They have all sorts of cool book reading/discussion events every month, and I would love to attend one eventually. There’s this really awesome one next Thursday about the Beatnik movement — Kerouac, Ginsberg, Borroughs, and the whole gang — but alas, it’s on a Thursday.
Thursdays are my rescue cat volunteer days.
Don’t you hate it when your crazy cat lady side interferes with your introverted bibliophile side?
Seriously though, go to The Strand! Even if you aren’t a reader, it’d be hard not to find the perfect book for you in there, even if that means a colorful cookbook of 500 cookies recipes.
There’s nothing wrong with that AT ALL. In fact, I saw this, and I wanted it.