Tuesday, April 23, 2013


I stopped in Rizzoli on my way home from a memorial service last week, grateful for the remaining book stores in Gotham, so many having closed, killed- as it were, by the likes of Amazon. My favorite on the Upper West Side was Shakespeare Books. It's now a Duane Reade. Then it was the Barnes & Noble at Lincoln Center, which might still be there if the company hadn't tried to expand so quickly. It's now Century 21. Will Rizzoli remain a presence in Gotham when patrons can purchase all the books in the store at 30 percent less online? I wonder.

Photos taken with dinky iPhone, CameraBag App & Magazine setting. 


  1. In Rizzoli's handsome shop on 5th, more or less opposite the old St Regis, which is to say, the old Mark Cross, I discovered Clara Haskil's recordings of the Mozart sonatas for violin and piano with the then-very young Arthur Grumiaux. They were a hostess gift to my pianist future mother-in-law on the first evening I was her guest at home. There I also found Portoghesi's Rome of Borromini, and always my browsing visits were rewarded beyond all expectation. I honestly can not respect the purchase of books from anywhere but an independent bookstore, because all such incidents are an attack upon the discoveries of others. I'm terribly sorry if others have worked out an exemption from this morality. They are misguiding themselves; and every protestation of the taste of their purchase is a drop of darkness' stain.

    1. Laurent - I was dimly aware of a Rizzoli on 5th Avenue, but have only known the one on 57th Street. It must have been quite large, no? You mention browsing. That's what I love about a good bookstore, and formerly- a good record store. Thank you for sharing your memories- and books!

  2. Daniel, you bring up an element of Rizzoli's retail presence(s) which might seem to diminish the "independent bookstore" model, and it does, but far from fatally, and of course this is the character of a resident proprietor. The old Abercrombie and Fitch, after all, had stores on Madison Avenue and on Post Street, and one could count on the same standard of service in both settings. On the spirit of browsing, may I encourage you to glance at the late Charles Rosen's early posting at the not-very-elderly "blog" at the New York Review of Books site? You probably know the store he is referring to and I believe, in any case, you'll be gratified by how he carries the load for all, in portraying the wonders of the oasis. Finally, again, a fine preservation of precious images in this posting.


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