Wednesday, August 19, 2009
First of all, I love books. A lot. And it would seem my inclination towards books goes back to babyhood.
Legend has it (well, not legend really, but I've always wanted to say that) that, when I was a toddler just old enough to speak and understand picture books...but not old enough to actually read...I was in the family car on Broadway and caught sight of a sign over a show. I pointed up to the sign and said, "Books."
That store still stands at the corner of Broadway and Hudson Avenue, part of a row of 19th-century buildings that once formed one of Albany's most active business districts. It's on the same block as the old Argus building which I've previously written about here.
And it's still open, though its hours are admittedly hit-and-miss. Often, there are racks of faded romance novels outside, even when the shop is closed.
I've been in there a few times, usually before or after a stop at the Starbucks just up State Street Hill or Coulson's News Center just up the block. It's my favorite sort of used book store...dimly lit, cramped, unimaginably dusty, piles of books on the floor along crammed shelves, titles ranging from the autobiography of Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen to vintage Playboy magazines.
The windows are a good indicator of the inside. Copies of the Koran shares space with brittle newspapers from World War II, cookbooks, fairytales, histories, and record albums from the 80s.