Book Row: An Anecdotal and Pictorial History of the Antiquarian Book Trade

Book Row: An Anecdotal and Pictorial History of the Antiquarian Book Trade The City Has Eight Million Stories, And This One Unfolds Just South Of Th Street In Manhattan, Mostly On The Seven Blocks Of Fourth Avenue Bracketed By Union Square And Astor Place There, For Nearly Eight Decades, From The S To The S, Thrived The New York Booksellers Row, Or, Commonly, Book Row This Illustrated Memoir Features Historical Photographs And Is Richly Anecdotal, And As American As The Rags To Riches Tale Of The Strand, Which Began Its Life As A Book Stall On Eighth Street And Today HousesMillion Volumes In Twelve Miles Of Space A Story Cast With Colorful Characters Like The Book Dealer George D Smith The Irascible Russian Born Book Hunter Peter Stammer, The Visionary Theodore C Schulte Lou Cohen, Founder Of The Still Surviving Argosy Book Store Gentleman Bookseller George Rubinowitz And His Legendarily Shrewish Wife, Jenny, Book Row Remembers Names And Places That All Lovers, Readers, Buyers, Sellers, And Collectors Of Books Should Never Forget Rising Rents, Street Crime, Urban Redevelopment, Television Are Many Of The Reasons For The Demise Of Book Row, But In This Volume, Based On Interviews With Dozens Of The People Who Bought, Sold, And Collected There, It Lives Again

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  • Hardcover
  • 400 pages
  • Book Row: An Anecdotal and Pictorial History of the Antiquarian Book Trade
  • Marvin Mondlin
  • English
  • 01 January 2017
  • 9780786713059

10 thoughts on “Book Row: An Anecdotal and Pictorial History of the Antiquarian Book Trade

  1. says:

    I have to admit I m divided on this book As a 4 5 block slice of New York City history, it s thoroughly researched and reported and many times engaging, with some real characters from a decidedly off center cache And as an insider s look at a burgeoning book trade with book shelves per square block than we re ever likely to see again sadly , I found it in turn wistfully nostalgic in both the descriptions of dead booksellers and quotes from the ones still alive, and elegiac in its ruminations on the sad state of our post Book Row culture.The problem is, each of the things I liked about it work against it as well Its narrow scope is problematic, at least within the framework Meador and Mondlin use, with many of the chapters seeming a lot like the ones before them with the names changed and a lot of factual repetition And the nostalgia can get a little overbearing, with a pretty strong Neo Luddite bias toward internet book dealers Those who had the books and the know how might buy and sell books on the Net, but we d like to hear Peter Stammer s, Sam Dauber s, and Jack Biblo s views of them as secondhand book dealers You could also say that as estate book buyer for the Strand Meador s neutrality might come into question, and you wouldn t be disproved with chapter titles like The Strand Lives On and almost a third of the glossy pictures devoted to the Bass family that runs the Strand.In sum I d say this is a book for book industry specialists especially the older ones who might recognize of the names the authors drop without much historical grounding and book buffs with enough interest to sift through 400 pages that could have easily been 200 I fall into the latter than the former, but even then would recommend Chapters One, Two, Five, Nine, Eleven, Fourteen, Fifteen, the Appendix a cool little pre Book Row history of books in NYC , and the foreword by legendary book collector Madeleine B Stern.

  2. says:

    As a self proclaimed bibliophile and voracious reader, I very much enjoyed reading Book Row and all its anecdotal history and stories.

  3. says:

    I was hoping this book would be of a critical history than this flat out accounting and recounting of the bookstores that populated the Fourth Avenue stretch of New York City from the 1940s 1990s This is not to say it wasn t extensively researched, and I sympathize greatly with the authors desire to illuminate the sellers who are often absent from book history But, there might have been ways to incorporate the extensive interviews the authors conducted into a broad narrative about the fate of bookstores and book selling As it was, the authors chose a number of book sellers to highlight in each chapter, and gave pretty much straight up histories of their various stores and practices The chapters were thematic though also largely chronological , but were inclined toward great man accounts of history than they seemed dedicated toward pursuing a specific topic The book is fascinating in parts, and predictable in others For a less narrative and critical history, however, I would look elsewhere Personally, I wish I could get my hands on the interview

  4. says:

    I had to give up on this book but will probably return to it as a reference source.I just couldn t get past the writing style I ve been writing and re writing this trying to find a way to describe it that s not overly snarky, but I can t, so instead I ll just link to John s review which is pretty solid and says everything I want to say in a constructive way I also echo his recommendations of which chapters to focus on.https www.goodreads.com review showAnyone interested in the history of bookselling would be wise to pick this book up, because it is well researched and there s a lot of good information if you can stomach the style For me, the value of this book lies mainly in the index and the bibliography.

  5. says:

    Book Row existed on Fourth St in New York It was a row of secondhand bookstores dating back to the early 20th century This book is what it claims to be, an anecdotal and pictorial it could use pictures of some of the colorful shops that made up Book Row The anecdotes are interesting and have done much to tickle the imagination of this bookseller I do find that it is sometimes slow going as the authors will reiterate a lot of material without adding to it Overall it is wonderful to get lost in an age where expensive and rare 1st editions went for the princely sum of 30.

  6. says:

    NYC s fourth street, in the good old days.

  7. says:

    Very enjoyable history of the famous NYC Book Row As it turns out my late Aunt used to shop there all the time

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