Bookstores As Cultural Icons

Eckstein_books_07_Shakespeare

Many hope that these are not merely icons of an earlier time, but an essential asset of any culture. Click the image above to go to this exhibition on the New Yorker’s website:

The Endangered Bookstores of New York

BY

Recently, I was browsing for books at Powerhouse Arena, in Dumbo, and noticed a sign asking people not to snap photos of the books on display. What a thing to have to ask! 

Here was a bookstore providing shelter, a bit of calm in the city, and tables with chosen, colorful, physical copies of books. And yet people were willing to bypass the ambiance and the expertise with an iPhone snap and an online purchase to be made later. To be in a bookstore is to feel the presence of artistic lives, a devotion to word and image. Bob Eckstein has previously drawn the bookstores of the city, and he returns here with a new set of drawings and stories. Some of these stores are thriving, some are shuttering, and some are just happy memories. — Michael Agger

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