"Those of us who read because we love it more than anything, who feel about bookstores the way some people feel about jewelers..." Anna Quinlan, How Reading Changed My Life
"I want to a bookstore and asked the saleswoman, 'Where's the self-help section?' She said if she told me, it would defeat the purpose." George Carlin, Comedian
Books are in my DNA. My father was a Teamster who made his living driving a truck for a company called Max Silverstein and Son. (It's also where he met my mom, who worked there as a secretary. See, I told you books were in my blood!!) Silverstein's was responsible for delivering almost all the magazines, paperbacks, and the like that you might find in drugstores, supermarkets, and gift shops throughout RI and MA back in the really olden days, before smart phones, designer coffee, and Olivia Palermo as a style icon.
One of the perks of working at MSS was that my dad got to bring home all the outdated and unsold magazines and books - without the covers. That was the only catch. (The covers were sent back to the publishers, so that MSS could get some of kind of credit. I think.) That's the how and the why of my house in Providence always being filled with the printed word. I mean we even gave out comics - again, without the covers - for Halloween instead of candy. (Years later, I found out how much some of the neighborhood kids looked forward to the annual 10-31 funny book, as my mom called them, giveaway.) Of course, once we kids got out into the world and started shopping for ourselves, all we wanted were books with the covers - One of my brothers was talking recently about how one of his first big purchases, after getting 'a real job' after graduating from college, was a best seller from the bookstore. With the cover still intact.
Now, let's fast forward to yesterday and how little ole me (There has to be a more glam term for book lover than bibliophile or book worm.) ended up getting a sneak advance peak inside Barrington Books Retold, a spinoff of the original store that's been in Barrington for something like 30 years, opening today in Garden City Center. In short, I was pretty impressed with their selection (Yes, Virginia, there are gifts, glossy mags, and plenty of books. It's like Christmas in October - See photo above for some of their Halloween holiday merch btw.), layout (There's a car in the magazine section for Pete's sake!), and how nice everyone was (Shout out to GM Jennifer Massotti.), especially considering 'they' were all still setting up for the big reveal the next day. My bad.
Truth is I totally spaced and for some reason, thought yesterday was Friday, that they were already open. As long as I'm being really honest here though, gotta say that it was kind of nice getting to browse the space before everyone else (and so nice seeing a bookstore back in GC once again, after the demise eons ago of - hate to use the B word but - Border's). I ended up buying Mary Karr's new book Art of Memoir (If you haven't read her The Liars Club, what the heck are you waiting for?), the Loulou De La Falaise book from Rizzoli (She was Yves Saint Laurent's muse during the 70's and a may-jor French style icon.), and a special edition of Vanity Fair (Graydon Carter, if you're reading this, I'm ready for my close-up.). I also debated picking up the new Chrissie Hynde memoir and Lucy Sykes' gossipy novel about the cutthroat world of fashion mags, but there's always today.
Speaking of which, if your agenda for today doesn't include a trip to Barrington Books Retold, change it! You'll be incredibly happy that you did.
Ciao for Now,
Photo Credits: Images of Mary Karr's book and the Loulou De La Falaise one are courtesy of Google Images. All others are courtesy of PattyJ.com. #PattyJDotCom