Bookstore Memories

NPR did a short retrospective on Barney Bosset, publisher of Grove Press and Evergreen Review recently and while listening to the commentator, my mind made a detour back to the early 60s while vignettes of my frequent visits to the St. Mark's Bookshop flashed before me.

You can read some thoughts on the bookstop here and here at the Reality Studio, a William Burroughs Community web site.

Town Topics also mentions the famous, or infamous bookshop here.

The shop moved on more than one occasion, and is now on the corner of 9th Street and Third Avenue but back when I frequented the shop it was more a stall than a store.

It was narrow, crowded with books, journals, pamphlets and carried a huge number of poetry chapbooks, many displayed on revolving wire racks just waiting for my grubbing hands to pluck them up to read, often surreptitiously, on subway rides or stuffed into my school bag on my bicycle for secret rituals under the blankets.

I was little more than a teen-ager, but reading was among my most serious passions and books more edible than comfort food.

Whether it was the East or the West Village, I was there.

The newest transformation of the bookshop is as banal as a chain but still carries some interesting reading material.

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