4 Books in 4 Days: Literary NYC Update

I’m sort of keeping to my book buying pledge at this point.

With modifications.

The original goals was to buy one book at each bookstore I visit. While this may have forced a few purchases I wouldn’t have made, I think it would have resulted in fewer purchases overall.

First day in New York, first bookstore I visit, two books bought.

But no books purchased, in spite of a brief visit to The Strand, until yesterday when I bought two at Book Book on Bleeker Street in the West Village.  Book Book is a terrific little shop, by the way, an excellent neighborhood bookstore, small with a terrific selection of new and bargain books.

I also visited Unoppressive and Non-imperialist Bargain Books which mostly sells graphic novels.  Not something I buy very often.

This brings my current total to four  books:

  1. A Book of Common Prayer by Joan Didion
  2. Nazis in the Metro by Didier Daeninckx
  3. The Expendable Man by Dorothy Huges
  4.  The Dead Mountaineer’s Inn by Boris and Arkady Strugatsky

I’m not planning on visiting a bookstore every day, but with 14 days remaining, I would end up with quite a few books if I did.

So, if you’d like to take a guess on just how many books I will end up with before heading back to California, leave your entry in a comment.  I may even send you one of the books I buy.  After I read it, of course.

Meanwhile, we did make a couple of book related stops this week.

First, we visited the New York Public Library to see the reading room and Winnie-the-Pooh.  C.J. had never seen Pooh before, so he wanted a picture with him to post on face book.  Pooh, Tigger, Eeore, Kanga and Piglet have improved digs since I last saw them seven years ago, but are still on view in the children’s room downstairs.  Afterwards, I asked the librarians if I could get a library card, just to have one as a souvenir.  While you have to be a New York resident to get a live card, they are happy to hand out un-activated card if you ask.

The reading room is well worth a visit if you’re a bibliophile.  It remains just as it was when the library first opened it over 100 years ago.  The murals in the rotunda as you enter pre-date the WPA mural projects, but look very much like them.

Our second library visit was the J.P. Morgan Library which is just a short walk away and free every Friday night after seven.  I know in my heart that the Morgan Library is a collection of ill-gotten gains.  Nobody who got that rich in the 19th century, maybe in any century, did it fairly and justly to say the least. But it did produce a marvelous, beautiful library and a wonderful collection of stuff.

As far a vacation reading goes, I have not been doing that much. I did finish the science fiction novel I brought along for the plane ride yesterday, but that’s it so far.  Today, I’ll be starting Jane Austen’s Sense and Sensibility for the Jane Austen Read All A-long which started on Saturday.  You can still join in the fun. Read more about it here.