Sunday, April 25, 2010

TSS: A New Favorite Bookstore

Last week's Sunday Salon found us at the Marriott Marquis in Times Square. Our excuse for the trip was to transport Daughter #1 to a New York Times seminar for college newspaper editors, but we also wanted to be in the city just in case Twin A's Poland trip took off (it didn't). We had a wonderful time... saw Mary Poppins on Broadway, ate at some fabulous restaurants, did some shopping, spied Kelsey Grammer getting out a limo, and explored the city.

While the girls spent time in Urban Outfitters, my husband and I wandered a few blocks up Broadway and stumbled upon Shakespeare & Co. Booksellers. I could have happily browsed there for hours, but the girls finished their shopping and needed us to return with the credit card, so we exited with just a couple of books.

Our next stop would be The Strand Bookstore - famous for its 18 miles of books. Another brisk walk up Broadway, and I was finally there!
Is this a book lover's paradise or what? Daughter #1 was nearly as overcome as I was, but my husband groaned... he knew this would take a while! The other girls were (sort of) happy to browse, but it was nearly 9PM and hunger pains were becoming a problem. Turns out we only had half an hour, but I did purchase nine books.
From the bottom:
I suppose it would have been dangerous to spend much more time there anyway. The family was impressed when I came away with nine books "without even trying", but the best part is that these are books I couldn't find at my local B&N or Borders.

A piece of good news to share:
Daughter #1 landed a summer internship at ESPN. She'll be living in the NYU dorms, so we have an excuse to visit again!

Today's reading:
I'm struggling with Tinkers by Paul Harding, the slim (191 pages) book that recently won the Pulitzer Prize. The writing is beautiful but, after 70 pages, I'm not really engaged. My new stack of books may be partly to blame... this could be a DNF.

Greyhound update:
We passed our 'home visit' and hope to have a dog in 4-6 weeks.

Finally, apologies for the rambling post... there's been a lot going on around here. Hope you have a wonderful Sunday. Will you be spending part of it with a good book?


  1. Great book shop! It is always fun to buy new books!

    I didn't realise that The Good Earth was a trilogy - I really should read the first one sometime!

    Sorry to hear you're having trouble with Tinkers. I hope it gets better soon. Enjoy the rest of your Sunday!

  2. Bookstores like that are DANGEROUS! :D

  3. Oh my goodness but it's been a hive of activity at your place! Congratulations to your daughter, I'm thrilled to hear about the upcoming addition to your family and 18 miles of books...really?! Pardon the drool!

  4. I just bought The Summer Book! Weird! I loved Tove Jansson as a child. I found The Summer Book at BookPeople in Austin, which is the best independent bookstore in Texas. And I read Wharton's Ghost Stories a couple of months ago, they're great. I'm on such a Wharton kick right now.

    And BTW, how cool that you are in NYC! I'm jealous.

  5. I didn't know The Good Earth was part of a trilogy either. In that case I have the first installment on my desk waiting to be read.

    That book shop does look amazing! & congratulations on all of your buys!

  6. Oh my - such a variety of topics to respond to!

    Congrats to daughter #1 -- what a wonderful experience she will have.

    I sometimes find the Strand overwhelming, but someday I hope to spend a good 4-5 hours there just searching for the right bargains.

    I am so excited for your new family member to arrive. I know I will be "oohing and ahing" over all the posted photos.

    Finally, I absolutely love the new header picture. The sky is simply beautiful!

    Have a great Sunday

  7. Congrats for getting the books, for your daughter's new job, for the greyhound to come, and for all the reading you have in store! Enjoy!

    Here's my Sunday Salon

  8. 9 books in half an hour? Good thing you didn't stay longer ;) And what excellent finds they were! I loved Goodbye, Tsugumi and really liked The Optimist's Daughter. And hooray for The Summer Book! I've also been meaning to get my hands on Wharton's ghost stories, on Sons, and on everything by E.M. Forster after recently finishing and adoring A Room With a View.

    Happy reading, JoAnn!

  9. Hey I would call that productive shopping! I've always wanted to visit that bookstore, but I fear it would be very dangerous! Congrats to Twin #1! You must be so proud of her!

  10. Sounds like you had a great time in NYC. Congrats to the girls as well. NYC bookstores can be so much fun but so dangerous to the pocket book...LOL

    Can't wait till your new dog arrives JoAnn

  11. JoAnn, I would love to visit The Strand. I'm afraid I might come away with more than 9 books though. My family has sighed over me when I'm like a homing beacon for bookstores. Congrats to your daughter. Isn't that nice that you will "need" to visit? LOL

  12. Now this is a post full of wonderful things (except that problem with Tinkers - sorry)! Afraid if they had told me just 30 minutes at The Strand, I would have thrown an age inappropriate fit. But 9 books? YOU are a great shopper. Funny that you got Where Angels Fear to Tread as I just pulled it off the shelves for a re-read in May. Just love Forster! Happy reading!

  13. I'm glad you had fun! Looks like you got some good books!

  14. Oooh, I love the Strand, but it's been years since I've been there. Hopefully I can remedy that if I get a chance to visit NYC this summer :)

  15. Nothing like a great bookstore in a great city! I hope to one day visit the Strand and NYC.

  16. Oh, I would have given anything to have been there with: including dinner! Well, maybe after dinner...;) Anyway, you chose awesome books! And, the JLC4 will start in June as many people wanted me to move it up a bit. (Self included. ;) Blessings, JoAnn, on all those good hours of reading to come!

  17. What a fabulous journey you had! I haven't been to The Strand in years and years. It is one of those amazing places that a book lover never forgets, like Powell's in Portland or Elliot Bay Booksin Seattle.

    I loved Tinkers when I read it but it is an odd little book and you have a very enticing pile of new ones there. Congratulations on the internship and the home visit! Have a good week.

  18. Oh I'm jealous. I love New York so much. Last time I was there I bought out Strand bookstore practically - the pound was at an all time high against the dollar so everything was better than half price and it was amazing! I bought a book bag and whenever I wear it I think of the fun I had browsing the shelves in there! Glad you had a wonderful weekend and what a great pile of books to take home with you! Can't wait to hear your thoughts on the Yates.

  19. OMG, the Strand is one of my favorite places in the world. LOVE it! so glad you visited! :-) Wow. Makes me want to go to NYC RIGHT NOW!

  20. Congratulations to your daughter! What an awesome weekend (except for the Poland trip:( I am kicking myself now for not making it to The Strand...I can see why you would be distracted by your new stack of books. I do so hope you will welcoming home a new dog...crossing my fingers. I have been spending too little of my Sunday with a great book...Pym's Excellent Women...but now the house is quiet and I am hoping to get in a good couple of hours.

  21. Jackie (Farmlanebooks) - Oh yes, do read The Good Earth! It's one of my all-time favorites. This may just be a bad time for me to read Tinkers - the writing is really very beautiful.

    Amanda - Dangerous, indeed... Imagine if I'd had more than thirty minutes!

    Darlene - My head is still spinning trying to take everything in. Seems like we go along quietly for weeks, then everything happens at once!

    Karenlibrarian - I'd never heard of Tove Jansson until I read about the book on Nymeth's blog! Glad to hear you enjoyed Wharton's Ghost Stories - my favorite of her novels, so far, has been The Custom of the Country.

    Iris - Hope you can get to The Good Earth soon. I've been looking for Sons for several years - what a find!

    Molly - I will definitely spend a few hours at The Strand when I visit my daughter later this summer. There were whole sections of the store that I didn't even get to! Hope to have some pictures of our new addition soon, too.

    Book Dilettante - Thanks. It's been an exciting week!

    Nymeth - It might have been really dangerous if I'd had a whole hour ;-) Can't wait to get started on the stack!

    Sandy - In some ways, the store was totally overwhelming. I didn't know where to turn first, especially with such limited time... guess I'll just have to go back!

    Diane - We don't have many bookstores other than chains around here, so these were a real treat! Hope to get some news on the dog within a few weeks...

  22. Kay - I've never seen anything like The Strand before. I was in heaven! My family is used to this behavior by now - LOL.

    Frances - I just love Forster! Howard's End is my favorite so far. Thirty minutes was a killer, but we were dangerously close to a meltdown... the teenagers NEEDED to eat. Oh well, at least I know there will be a next time.

    Reviewsbylola - It was a great weekend!

    Dana - The Strand was just amazing! Hope you get to NYC this summer.

    Readerbuzz - You said it... great bookstore, great city!

    Bellezza - Oh good, I didn't realize it was starting in June! I now have four books ready to go - the 2 here, plus After Dark and The Makioka Sisters.

    Gavin - I really hope to get to Powell's one day, too. I'm not sure what it is about Tinkers. The writing is beautiful, but I just don't feel drawn in. It may be bad timing for me :-(

    Bookssnob - The Yates book was the first one I found! I was so disappointed when it wasn't in the stores around here, so it was at the top of my list. I can't wait to visit New York again!

    Marie - The Strand was just amazing!! There were whole sections I didn't even get to. Can't wait to visit again.

    Book Psmith - Hopefully you can visit NYC again and discover The Strand for yourself - words can't describe it! Can't wait to hear what you think of Excellent Women. I have that here on the shelf...

  23. Loved your rambling post. 18 miles of books...I so need to go there!! I'm amazed that you could pick out 9 books in a half hour!! LOL!!! So glad that your daughter will be interning at ESPN so that you can re-visit The Strand!!

  24. I've stayed at the Mariott Marquis! And been to The Strand on the same trip. I think I was overwhelmed because I came away with nothing. Sad, I know.

  25. Oh, my, discovering new bookstores—especially fabulous ones!—is truly a gift.

    I've been wanting to go to New York.

    Sounds so blissful.

  26. Oh, I almost forgot...I've added The Easter Parade to my list. I loved Revolutionary Road.

  27. I love the Strand and can't visit NYC without stopping there! You found some great books.

    Thanks for linking to my Forster review. It's cool that you keep track of who inspired you to pick up certain books.

    Congratulations to your daughter on her internship. That is terrific!

    And finally, thanks for your good wishes on my trial victory.

  28. How jealous am I that you got to have such a wonderful bookstore browsing time in NYC?!

  29. Congrats on Daughter #1! I haven't heard of any of these books, so I will look forward to your reviews.

    I haven't read Good Earth either (thank goodness I'm not the only one), but I do have it on my bookshelf at home.

  30. 9 books in 30 minutes? That's a book every 3 minutes. Not bad! Probably a good thing you weren't there for hours, huh? ;) I think I'd be overwhelmed at The Strand. I have far too many unread books in my house. It would only cause me great stress to be in a store like that. It's hard enough working at B&N! ;0

    Great news about your daughter's internship. How fun!!

  31. I certainly love the Strand, even back when it was only 9 miles of books. But I must say, I rarely purchase anything. I think I find it all a little overwhelming. It seems like I am always hot and have to go to the bathroom when I am there. Then you add the crowded aisles and the confusion of some sections and I never seem to be able to focus. Still, I go there almost every time I am in NYC.

    Next time you are in NYC check out Three Lives booshop on the corner of W 10th and Waverly in the Village. It is a great little bookstore with really good stock. Size-wise, the exact opposite of the Strand.

    And for a really great movie cameo for the Strand watch Six Degrees of Separation with Stockard Channing, Donald Sutherland, and Will Smith (!). One of the best movies of all time and with lots of literary allusions.

  32. Staci - It helped that I went in with a list of book I couldn't find at home... the store was amazing!

    Tara - We had a room at the end of the hall that had a great view of Times Square! I can see how the Strand could overwhelm - so much there, how could you possibly choose?

    Laurel-Rain Snow - Discovering new book stores is so much fun. Rachel had some great reviews of Yates books on her blog, but Easter Parade stood out for me. Glad I finally found a copy. Hope you get to visit New York!

    Rose City Reader - I was so happy to find the Forster book - have been looking for it ever since I read your review!

    Kristen - Sorry ;-) New York is a great city!

    Kim - These are all books I learned about from other bloggers but couldn't find around here. I think you'd really like The Good Earth... and your book club probably would, too!

    Les - Good thing we weren't there an hour - LOL! I actually had a list, but next time I'd love to just browse and see what strikes my fancy.

    Thomas - I'll definitely check out Three Lives Bookshop! It sounds like a bookstore I'd feel more comfortable in (The Strand was pretty hot and crowded now that you mention it). Plus it may be quite close to the dorm my daughter will be living in. Off to Netflix now to add Six Degrees of Separation. Thanks for the comment!

  33. Lovely trip to NY!
    I am breaking out in a sweat just looking at that picture of those books! Glad you had a wonderful time and hope your daughter enjoyed her seminar.

  34. Jenny Girl - New York was so much fun, but now I'm ready to dip into the stack of new books!

  35. The Strand is the place of my worship in New York. :) I am ready to spend all day there browsing!

    I'm surprised Let the World Spin my Colum McCann didn't win the Pulitzer. A copy of Tinkers still sits on my desk. I have abandoned reading it because I have the same problem you do. I'll give it a try again.

  36. Loving that bookstore. And your stack. I'm really interested to know what you'll think of Sons.

  37. Matt - I hope to visit the Strand again this summer, so I'd better get busy on the stack I just bought! Tinkers is now officially a DNF for me. I'll do a short post on it in the coming week.

    Claire - I think I'm going to have to do a quick re-read of The Good Earth in order to fully appreciate Sons. I knew I should have joined in with your group ;-)


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