Moravian Book Shop Posts

“Footnotes from the World’s Greatest Bookstores” by Bob Eckstein

To possess New York Times bestseller Footnotes from the World’s Greatest Bookstores is when you realise what it means to own treasure. It is a beautifully produced book with full-page watercolour illustrations of prominent bookstores around the world. Each painting  by illustrator, writer and cartoonist, Bob Eckstein. Every bookstore has a brief history on the opposite page along with a wonderful anecdote recounted by the owners/employees. So in the pages you encounter stories about David Bowie who helped do a book display before buying books for his daughter, Paul McCartney visiting a store late at night, a bookstore that displays books with the cover showing as it stocks autographed copies only, bookstores in barges or vintage van ( Tell a Story) or a bookstore tank ( Weapon of Mass Instruction). Bookstores establised by authors ( Ann Patchett’s Parnassus Books), families ( Eliot Book Bay Company), independent stores ( Giggles ), or the oldest continuously operating bookstore like Moravian Book Shop ( estd. 1732) or chains like Powell’s Books. There must be a second revised edition to this or preferably a website where pictures of bookstores are posted. Let it become a comprehensive catalogue across the world. The more one thinks about it the more one recalls bookstores that have not been included in this fine collection. 

It is a keeper. My seven-year-old daughter stroked the book when it arrived in wonderment and asked “Can we keep this ‘laptop-like’ book and not return it to any library?”

Footnotes from the World’s Greatest Bookstores: True Tales and Lost Moments from Book Buyers, Booksellers, and Book Lovers Clarkson Potter / Publishers, New York, 2016. Hb. US$22

16 march 2017 

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