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

3.36 of 5 stars 3.36  ·  rating details  ·  28 ratings  ·  6 reviews
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 the New York Booksellers' Row, or, more commonly, Book Row. This illustrated memoir features historical photographs and i ...more
Hardcover, 400 pages
Published December 14th 2003 by Carroll & Graf
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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 more 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 ruminat ...more
I was hoping this book would be more 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 more broad narrative about ...more
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.

Anyone interested in the history of
Bookendsused Pefferly
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 more pictures) of some of the more 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 ...more
Terry Morris
Very enjoyable history of the famous NYC Book Row. As it turns out my late Aunt used to shop there all the time!
NYC's fourth street, in the good old days.
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