Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Visiting McNally Jackson bookstore


I finally got a chance to visit McNally Jackson bookstore while I was in New York City. The store, which opened in 2004, is a really important cultural space in the city, hosting a wide range of author readings and activities over the years.  Bookstores, as I've noted over the years, have always been integral to my intellectual development, and McNally Jackson, I'm hoping will become a familiar place to visit on my trips to New York.

I only did some light browsing when I stopped by the other day. It was shortly after 10:00 am, when the store opened, so there were not many people. It's an aesthetically pleasing bookstore, with a small cafe and a book printing section.

I checked out the poetry section, of course. I also looked around at the "Essays and Creative Nonfiction," "Digital Culture," "Economics," "African, Asian & Middle East," "New York," and "Indie bestsellers" sections. So many books, so little time.

I noted that Ta-Nehisi Coates's Between the World and Me prominently displayed in a couple of different places at McNally Jackson as well as Strand Bookstore.

At McNally Jackson, I was surprised that there was no designated "African American" or "Black Studies" section. One of the clerks informed me that the African American-authored books are "integrated" throughout the various sections in the store. Hmmm. Ok. I'm going to put some thought into the value of having a designated African American or Black Studies section as opposed to integrating works by black authors throughout a story.

In the meantime, I'm looking forward to my next trip to McNally Jackson.

A Notebook on bookstores, book collections & book fairs
NYC 2016

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