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June 2, 2008

I (do not) <3 New York

newyorkedited.jpg That's right, I hate it. Maybe it's because I grew up in teeny tiny Salisbury, but ever since my first trip to the Big Apple in high school, I've found it to be too noisy, too crowded and way too busy. When do you get to catch your breath, anyway?

 So while it's clear I would never survive the city that never sleeps, (that's another thing -- I LOVE sleep. Stupid NYC.) there is one place that almost makes up for all that aggravating hustle and bustle. The Strand.

It's big, it's quietly chaotic and it's full of books. Eighteen miles of books, as their motto says. In an unguarded moment, I even got all touristy and bought a bag. Don't expect that to happen at the stupid old Empire State Building.

So if you're forced to go to the dreaded island, take a look. Tell them Nancy sent you. They'll have no idea what you're talking about, but they're used to crazies blathering on in Manhattan, right?

I'm going to Nashville in August, and I'll be looking for some great places to get a little literary.

 (Photo by linder6580 at

Posted by Nancy Knight at 5:00 AM | | Comments (7)
Categories: Bookstores


NYC is the greatest city in the world. You can get anything you want whenever you want it. The Strand is a great bookshop but so is Mystery Loves Company and Coliseum Books on 42nd and 5th.

Nashville is also a very cool spot to go out to. I tend to stay around music row as all the food and beer that you want is walking distance. I don't know of any book shops in nashville though! Even if you don't stay at the Hermitage Hotel you have to take the tour of it... such an amazing place.

I'm so sorry that you're such a fearful person. Frankly, you sound doomed to dislike every place - and, by extrapolation, everyone - that might be different from what you knew when you were 10 years old.

Manhattan is Manhattan. You don't have to want to live there - although, at one time I did. You just need to accept it for what it is. So sad for you.

Don't bother with Nashville. It's a good-time city and you won't "get" it at all. You didn't spend your childhood there.

Manhattan pwn's you.

Admit it! Manhattan rules and anyone who doesn't like it drools!

Admit it!

Granny, that generalization you made about the author is rude to the author and also incorrect. You spent the entire paragraph bashing her (see argumentum ad hominem), talking about how not liking NYC will doom her to hate everyone (see fallacy of the consequent and non sequitur) and in the end missed the whole point that she was trying to make that the bookstore mentioned was awsome (in fact so awsome that in her dislike of the city, just the presence of that bookstore made it up for her).

I kind of survived NYC. I lived there for 6 months, and I never ventured too far away from my cozy confines on the Upper Eastside. Of course, everything I ever wanted or needed was within walking distance of my apartment, including a huge Barnes and Noble. I definitely took that to my advantage, and I must have bought over a dozen or more books in my short time in the city.

I wish I would have known about this quirky bookstore while I lived up there! It definitely looks like it would have been worth a couple trips on the subway!!

And Granny, please forgive Nancy's dislike for the city. She's just a girl from the shore who enjoys simplicity! What's so wrong with that?? Manhattan is beyond complex and can be quite scary at times. (trust me on that one! yikes!) I can see why she wouldn't enjoy being there. It's not all glitz and glamour like you see on TV!

Keep on keeping on, Nancy!! :-)

Don't worry, blog readers. Nancy will be in NYC checking out bookstores whether she likes it not since I will be moving there soon and she will be forced to visit me :)

The Strand is the best bookstore ever. I love that it's crammed wall-to-wall with books. Perhaps that's why I've been bookularly uninspired lately -- I need a Strand pick-me-up.

Any suggestions for books to jumpstart a literary slacker?

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About the blogger
Dave Rosenthal came to The Baltimore Sun as a business reporter in 1987 and now is the Maryland Editor. He reads a wide range of books (but never as many as he'd like), usually alternating between non-fiction and fiction. Some all-time favorites: A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole; Wind, Sand and Stars by Antoine de Saint-Exupery; and anything by Calvin Trillin or John McPhee. He belongs to a book club with a Jewish theme.
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