Harrison Solow's recent blog with pictures of the "world's coolest bookstores" reminded me that, each in its own way, there must be at least one or two memorable bookstores near every major university campus.
At the University of Minnesota's Twin Cities' campus, the largest one with "character" in the 1960's was Perrine's, now long since demolished for urban renewal and progress. Its step-up and step-down levels and loft in odd configurations reminded me of an artist's drawing of the rickety home of the Mother Goose woman who lived in a shoe. In various nooks and corners, books overflowed not only on shelves but also in irregular Pisa-Tower stacks on tables. Only old-timer employees knew the eclectic filing system, if any, to help one search for a particular topic, author or edition.
For out-of -print books and first editions of classic books, there was a salty bookseller housed in a converted early 1900's fire station that had its inimitable character as well. Anyone up to sliding down or climbing up the old-fashioned "fire poles" to get from one level to another?
When doing some graduate work at the University of London in 1970-71, I remember a huge book store near that campus--was it Blackstone's or similar name? Perhaps another Red Room member can help me with its actual name. In any case, one could spend hours browsing its collection and "sampling" their offerings at reading tables. It would be interesting to hear from other Red Room members about their favorite book store with "character" and/or a book in their collection that brings back special memories.
For writing this blog, I just retrieved from my makeshift lower-level stacks a 1924 Oxford University Press edition of THE AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF JOHN STUART MILL (with a preface by Harold Laski) and GILBERT AND SULLIVAN'S COMIC OPERAS (Volume I) that I bought at this library-like bookstore.
Books are "little treasures", each often associated with a particular "moment" or experience in one's life. When I was a student, it was sometimes a choice of buying a book or having lunch. Now that I can have both, the temptation to buy more books is too often irresistible, which for me presents somewhat of a dilemna, since, after Harrison Solow, I am the next-to-last person who should be acquiring and piling up more books on limited shelving space or among current books scattered about in already cluttered rooms.
Causes Brenden Allen Supports