They’re all gone now, but when I moved to New York, in 1991, the city seemed to be nothing but bookstores. I’m sure there are others for whom the city was nothing but banks or museums or night clubs or restaurants, but for me all of those were secondary to the bookstores. I spent my first few days in New York traipsing among them, looking for work and feeling awed. Those myriad palaces of the printed word were my first index to the varieties of literary life in Manhattan. Each store excited me in its own way, and I can still recall them.
Fox Books has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, The Onion reported. But in reality, Barnes & Noble is facing some big problems, which inspired Michael Agger to write a thank you note to the troubled bookstore. “Going to Barnes & Noble became a Saturday afternoon. It was as if a small liberal-arts college had been plunked down into a farm field.”