New Favorites: Diane’s Books Greenwich, CT and Booksy Galore, Pound Ridge, NY
Word has it that independent bookstores are on the rise. Just came back from New York and I’m not so sure. Of course there is the Strand in NYC, and we thank the Book God for its continued success, but walking around Manhattan two weeks ago was disheartening. Not that stopping by the New York Antiquarian Book Fair on the Saturday before flying back to Reno didn’t raise my spirits, but it wasn’t until, midway in my visit, driving around Stamford, Greenwich and those wonderful back roads that my spirits were lifted.
Walking downtown Greenwich, Connecticut is about as far from walking around downtown Reno, Nevada as one can get. If there’s any betting going on in Greenwich, it’s pretty obvious that the high-end shop owners know their game. But it was my son-in-law who spotted the bookstore, just off the main drag. “Look! Do you want to go in?” Is the pope Argentinian?
Diane’s Books Greenwich is a joy and has been a joy for twenty years. The store is a haven for book-loving families. I bought one kid’s book and then asked for a copy of Roger Rosenblatt’s Thomas Murphy. I am in the process of reviewing my ARC, but love it enough to want a hard copy to read and reread. I’m convinced God is a bibliophile and sure enough she had delivered a copy just the day before, face out, waiting for me. Feeling better about the state of independent bookstores, we returned to the roads less traveled.
With my son-in-law at the wheel, we (my son and his mother-in-law) took our time, slowing and stopping when something caught our attention. Took pictures of stone walls, a couple of Shetland ponies, parks with their inland waters offering a shadowy Manhattan skyline in the distance. But best of all was coming upon Pound Ridge, about thirty minutes (with no traffic) from NY. There, bold as brass, was Booksy Galore. Of course we stopped. I went directly to the books while the rest went to the almost-an-antique store nextdoor.
Susan Wilco’s Booksy Galore is a treasure trove of new and used books. It may not be big in size, but it certainly has heart and by the selection of books, it is obvious that Susan and her staff are solid readers. I am never so strapped that I cannot buy at least one book whenever I stop at an independent bookstore when out of town and I came away from this stop with the late Oliver Sacks’s Gratitude, published just months after his death.
Booksy Galore is not without an ambitious event calendar. If you are in the area, or within driving distance, save the date of April 30th for a very special early evening of poetry and music. Join them for an acoustic musical performance of T. S. Eliot’s poetry and the opening of their garden at the back of the store. It begins at 5:00 pm and refreshments are free, but they ask that you RSVP, 914-764-3171. The address: 67 Westchester Ave., NY. I can’t think of a better way to spend a Saturday. – Sunny Solomon