HOURS FOR
THE WEEK OF
October 22

Hours vary from week to week; I’m also open by appointment. Please call if you want to visit outside my usual hours.

PREACHING TO THE CHOIR

Portrait of Bonnie with cookbooks

It has been my great pleasure to serve up a delicious selection of cookbooks to customers near and far for the past 20 years.

I opened the first incarnation of my bookshop in a basement office on Washington Place and Barrow Street in October of 1997. What was I, crazy? I was trying to set up and run a business while simultaneously working at a day job (at a small publishing company). I sent out hand-written announcements and some sort of press release. Florence Fabricant wrote about me in the Times, and the article appeared the day before Thanksgiving–a day when even the most disinterested are likely to glance at the Dining section. As often happens, Ms. Fabricant’s piece was the shot heard ’round the world, the phone started ringing, and soon it was time to leave the day job (I was conveniently laid off) and devote myself full-time to the shop.
      Look at all the changes in the book business since then. Where are the Barnes & Noble stores that once graced every third corner in midtown? For that matter, where is the B&N flagship store—the textbook store, where frugal students bought their books secondhand? And B. Dalton, Waldenbooks, Tower Books, Border’s? Gone, baby, gone. But it’s not as if there are no bookstores left in the city, and we certainly have our share downtown. There’s Three Lives & Company, in the Village for more than thirty years now; McNally Jackson, a relative newcomer that’s become a neighborhood hub; BookBook, rudely displaced by a Marc Jacobs “bookstore” a few years ago, now thriving farther east on Bleecker; and (everyone’s favorite bookstore name of all time), Unoppressive Non-Imperialist Bargain Books on Carmine Street. I hardly need to mention the Strand, for both new and used books—don’t ever forget that it, too, is an independent, family-owned business.
      We’re lucky also to have plenty of shops filled with used, out-of-print, and antiquarian books (and records, CDs, prints, photos, posters, maps). If you come into mine, I’ll hand you a list and map of both kinds of stores (the list is also on the Neighborhood page of this website). I love the responses this brings: “Really? There are still that many?” “Wow, I thought all the bookstores had closed!” No, they haven’t. And with your help—that is, your patronage—they won’t.
      By the way, the same is true of the neighborhood (non-chain) drugstore, hardware store, and coffeeshop. The prices may be a little higher (remember, this is an individual—not a multinational corporation—dealing with insane overhead, taxes, and fees). But in the long run, it’s well worth the cost.
      If you live in New York City, please support City Council action on the Small Business Jobs Survival Act (SBJSA) or similiar legislation. You can find out all you need to know at www.savenyc.nyc/
      And happy anniversary to US!     — Bonnie


FALL 2018 EVENT SCHEDULE

WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 17, 6 - 8pm:
Susan Buckley—Eating with Peter: A Gastronomic Journey and Dawn Drzal—The Bread and the Knife: A Life in 26 Bites

Susan Buckley Eating with Peter and Dawn Drzal The Bread and the Knife covers

Susan’s life would never be the same after she meets Peter Buckley — a larger-than-life writer, photographer, and gourmand, a great cook and a great “eater.” Together they embark on rollicking adventures from the souks of Morocco and the waters of the Red Sea and the Caribbean to Michelin- starred restaurants in France and the markets of Provence. Back in New York, Susan and Peter incorporate their travels into their life at home, in a New York food world for the most part long gone.

Food is more than a metaphor in The Bread and the Knife; it is the organizing principle of a life. Starting with “A Is for Al Dente,” the loosely linked chapters evoke an alphabet of food memories that recount a woman’s emotional growth from the challenges of youth to professional accomplishment, marriage, and divorce. Ranging from her grandmother’s suburban kitchen to an elegant New York restaurant, a longhouse in Borneo, and a palace in Rajasthan, The Bread and the Knife charts the vicissitudes of a woman forced to swallow some hard truths about herself while discovering that the universe can dispense surprising second chances.

Susan Buckley is a New York-based writer, editor, and consultant. She is the co-author of five Young Adult books on American history, was the founding editor of AppleSeeds magazine, and has written many children’s books for reading and social studies programs.

Dawn Drzal, a former cookbook editor, has published articles and essays in the New York Times, the New York Times Sunday Magazine, Food & Wine, and O. Between 2006 and 2016, she was a regular contributor to the New York Times Book Review. Her essays have been anthologized in, among other places, Eat Memory: Great Writers at the Table, edited by Amanda Hesser.

Copies will be available for signing. Light refreshments will be served. Please join us!


MONDAY, OCTOBER 22, 6 - 8pm:
An Evening with Kate McDermott and Andrew Scrivani

Kate McDermott and Andrew Scrivani Home Cooking cover

Come and meet James Beard finalist Kate McDermott, and award-winning photographer Andrew Scrivani for an informal evening to celebrate the release of their new book, Home Cooking with Kate McDermott.

Copies will be available for signing. Light refreshments will be served. Please join us!


SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 11, 2 - 4pm:
Cooking South of the Clouds — Book Signing

Georgia Freedman's Cooking South of the Clouds cover

Meet Georgia Freedman, the author of Cooking South of the Clouds—Recipes and Stories from China's Yunnan Province, and learn about the foods of China's most diverse (and delicious) region. The event will include a brief introduction to the region's history, food, and culture.

Copies will be available for signing. Light refreshments will be served. Please join us!