The city has eight million stories, and this one unfolds just south of 14th 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 1890s to the 1960s, thrived a bibliophiles' paradise. They called it the New York Booksellers' Row, or, more commonly, Book Row.
It's an American story, the story that this richly anecdotal historical memoir amiably tells: as American as the rags-to-riches tale of the Strand, which began its life as book stall on Eighth Street and today houses 2.5 million volumes in twelve miles of space. It's a story cast with colorful characters: like the horse-betting, poker-playing go-getter and 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 legendary shrewd wife Jenny.
Rising rents, street crime, urban redevelopment, television-the reasons are many for the demise of Book Row, but in this volume, based on interviews with dozens upon dozens of the book people who bought, sold, and collected there, it lives again.
|Publisher:||Avalon Publishing Group|
|Product dimensions:||6.16(w) x 9.22(h) x 1.57(d)|
About the Author
Marvin Mondlin began working in the book trade in 1951 and has been the estate book buyer for the Strand since 1974. He is a member of the Antiquarian Booksellers Association of America and the author of Appraisals. He lives in New York City.
Roy Meador was a book collector and freelance writer. His work was published in the New York Times, the Chicago Tribune, Smithsonian, and Analog. He lived in Ann Arbor, Michigan.