Monday, September 26, 2005

A Day at the Strand

I spent a good share of today in a claustrophobic paradise only bibliophiles could love. I speak of the Strand bookstore (12th St. and Broadway). Their motto - "18 Miles of Books." I walked nearly all of them. I went looking for some hard to find titles, which remain hard to find. I still can't get my hands on a collection of poems by Allen Tate. Anyway, the Strand is a wonderful mess of books, which I can't wait to get back to. They have a so-so religion section, and disappointing poetry offerings, but if you like art books, rare old leathers, and fiction, you will be in hog heaven. I found an Everyman's edition of Proust's In Search of Lost Time, 2 vols, new, for $7.95 each. They now have a nice home here in Fairfield. I also picked up poems by Donald Hall, The Painted Bed (which completes my volumes on Jane Kenyon), and W.G. Sebald's first published work, After Nature. I carried them home in a Strand Satchel. I felt quite bohemian trudging up to Union Square to catch the N train to the Port Authority. Thanks to my dear friend Howard, who suggested we go. I think I'll visit more often. It was good to be back in my native city, even if every other person seems to smoke, and every third person was covered in tattoos. I thought about stopping at Ray's for a slice, but I always feel like I am about to choke on the mozzarella. So does anyone know where to get a copy of poems by Allen Tate?


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