Tag Archives: books

john k. king.

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john wanders through the stacks. 

by far, the most interesting bookstore i’ve ever spent time in

john k. king used & rare books

is a bookstore out of its time

located in detroit on 4 floors

of what used to be the advance glove company building

filled with over 1 million volumes

 completely uncomputerized collections

 organized into more than 900 categories

by a team of energetic and helpful staff members

each floor has a manager who is responsible

for knowledge and maintenance of the categories held there

upon entering you are handed a map and directory

 you are free to wander you way through the floors

until closing time.

john began collecting and selling books as a teenager

selling them out of the trunk of his car

and he continues to this day

on my recent visit to the store

staff members said he was in his car

headed to cincinnati to acquire a new collection

every time they sell a few books, he takes on more

he’s now purchased the old otis elevator building

behind the store to use as

 an annex for his art and rare book collections

this is a store and experience not to be missed.

 

“i thought i’d go to a bookstore and see what moved me.”

-erik larson

 

 

 

 

credits: john r. king books

knowledge is power.

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a great day spent in detroit

exploring the main library

built by andrew carnegie

in the last year of the civil war

to bring knowledge to the people

1 of 21 remaining in detroit

not forgetting the children

where stories were told in front of the fire

and careful attention

was paid to every detail

a beautiful oasis created and restored

beating in the heart of the city.

“a city isn’t so unlike a person.

they both have the marks to show

they have many stories to tell.

they see many faces.

they tear things down and make new again.”

― rasmenia massoud

through my fingers.

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maurice sendak’s

“where the wild things are”

was initially pitched as

 “where the wild horses are”

his editor loved the pitch but

sendak could not draw horses

so the wild things he drew

ended up being

caricatures of his relatives.

“writing, to me, is simply thinking through my fingers.”
-isaac asimov

credits: maurice sendak, “where the wild things are” – 1963, harper and collins

 

 

bookstock.

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spent a late afternoon 

browsing through this collection of

used books of all sorts

went home with unexpected treasures

and things to look forward to

kind of like woodstock

but without

the mud, tie dye, or music

just lots of good words.

The Bookstock Fund was created from the revenue of each year’s Bookstock sale and donations. Focused on enhancing literacy throughout Detroit and the metropolitan area, each year the Fund looks for community partners doing inspiring and life-changing work on the individual, family, and organizational level.

“it is what you read when you don’t have to that determines what you will be when you can’t help it.”
― oscar wilde

tumbleweeds.

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shakespeare-book-shop

The Historic Parisian Bookshop Where Aspiring Writers Can Spend the Night for Free

Shakespeare and Company opened its doors back in 1951, and ever since then, it’s hosted aspiring writers for free. And it’s not always just for a night, sometimes, guests stay for months, and they don’t have to pay a penny. The Parisian literary hub may be the only bookshop in the world of its kind.

More than 30,000 guests have stayed at the bookshop since American expat George Whitman opened it over six decades ago, and many of them have even gone on to become international best sellers.

Molly Dektar, who lived at Shakespeare and Company in January and June 2013, wrote about the experience: “I aimed to read a book a day but it wasn’t entirely possible. Still, the goal is spiritually important and should be taken seriously. One minute I was a visitor just like any other,” she added, “and the next minute I was welcomed in to this huge, historic community of writers and expatriates.”

molly-bookshop

Now, 65 years after the bookshop opened, the owner, Whitman’s daughter Sylvia, has released a memoir documenting its long history. Whitman was inspired by American expat Sylvia Beach, who owned a bookshop by the same name at another location, which existed between 1919 and 1941.

Beach’s bookshop had been a popular and frequent gathering place for legendary writers like Ernest Hemingway, F Scott Fitzgerald and T S Eliot. She had also been the first to publish James Joyce’s Ulysses in 1922.

Whitman had called his version of the bookshop a “spiritual successor” and it quick became the center of expat life in Paris for the book writing crowd. As he’d been the recipient of the generosity of strangers while traveling the world, he decided that he wanted to do the same for other travelers. Since the start, his store has hosted overnight guests he refers to as “Tumbleweeds.” Instead of paying for their stay, the “Tumbleweeds” are just required to help out in the shop for a few hours, write a one-page autobiography for the archives and “read a book a day.” Quite the deal!

While Whitman passed away five years ago, his daughter Sylvia is continuing to carry on the tradition and runs the bookshop with her partner, David Delannet.

Today, as many as six Tumbleweeds can sleep in the bookshop each night, but it now also hosts an adjoining cafe, a literary festival and a publishing arm of Shakespeare and Company, which just released a book on the history of the company.

Of the book, Delannet said, “This history offers readers a unique perspective on Paris, as well as an insight into the life of the literary traveler in the second half of the 20th century and a feel for a bookshop whose motto is ‘Be not inhospitable to strangers lest they be angels in disguise.'”

credits: earthables, molly dektar, buzzfeed

 

“the limits of my language means the limits of my world.” -ludwig wittgenstein

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library-and-garreth-006

grandie b

read her book to us

out loud

proud and confident

while

younger grandie j

watched and listened

and

when she was done

he said

 he was happy she could read the words

but he seemed 

a

little bit

envious 

and

sad

because he wasn’t sure how to read yet

until

suddenly

he had an idea

and

i saw

the lightbulb go on

just before

he announced 

that he would 

‘read his book to us in spanish’.

and

he proceeded to 

show us the cover

as he

read us the title

and then

patiently

read

each and every page 

in his version of spanish

taking his time

nodding and facing the book towards us 

turning the pages

at appropriate times

pointing out the pictures

all while 

happily smiling

 confidently

 chattering away

in a his brand new version of spanish

that was so very, very advanced 

that we

the listeners

didn’t even 

know the translations

but we understood

that he was proud

and

he was reading

and

when he was finished

he snapped his book shut

and said

in english

“that’s all.”

brilliant.

muy bien, and gagglesmithjong kipisanlomita paskajonti to you!!

 

“if you want to talk about something new,

you have to make up a new kind of language.”

-haruki murakami