Friday, July 27, 2018

Barnes & Noble 82nd and Broadway

Bookstore: Barnes and Noble 82nd and Broadway

Location: New York, New York

Why I Love Them: What's interesting about visiting any city is that after a couple of visits there are a few places that become your "go to" places. You have your favorite restaurant, your favorite museum, your favorite movie theatre, and your favorite bookstore. In recent years the main reason I was visiting New York was to visit my friend Jess, but I was also applying to grad school, and therefore my world became her world, which for quite some time was the Upper West Side. First up around Columbia University and later near the American Museum of Natural History. The Upper West Side has one Barnes and Noble located on 82nd street, two blocks from the American Museum of Natural History and right around the corner from Jess's apartment during one of my long stays. It also happens to be located as a convenient disembarkation point if you're riding the subway to any location on the Upper West Side. Therefore if Jess and I were discussing a book and saying that we thought the other should get it, we'd just get off the subway and wander into the 82nd Street Barnes and Noble and see if they had the book we were discussing. Oddly enough they usually did. They had impeccable buyers for this location. One time I remember I got on the express versus the local on the subway, but that wasn't a problem, because it meant I could swing by Barnes and Noble and grab a drink and a book before getting back to Jess's.  

Best Buy: Though my best buy just inadvertently ended up being my best buy. Back in 2005 a few of my friends and I were meeting in New York to continue on to Halifax for a thesis gallery show our mutual friend Sara was staging. The trip happened to coincide with one of my fellow travelers birthday. So Jess and I went to the 82nd Street Barnes and Noble one day after lunch because Jess wanted to buy Sarah Dunant's The Birth of Venus for our friend Orelia. I didn't know too much about the book other than a few years previously when I had been visiting Jess in Boston she had been raving about the book. She was still raving about it and it was going to be Orelia's present. I picked up the book and was reading the back and thought, damn, this does sound good, so I bought myself a copy hoping to read it on my vacation. In fact what with reading Anne of Green Gables, I was going to Canada AND visiting Prince Edward Island after all, and then finding a cool Elizabeth Gaskell book called Lois the Witch I just HAD to read immediately, I don't think I picked up The Birth of Venus until I got home. But when I did it was better than I could have hoped for. Art, mystery, intrigue, nuns! It made me realize that historical fiction could be awesome. In fact, I'd go so far as to say The Birth of Venus gave birth to my absolute love of historical fiction, and I thank Jess and the 82nd Street Barnes and Noble for that just as much as the book!    


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