Bibliophile Porn: A Book Lover’s Tool For Getting Off On Stacks

bookshop

I’ve been thinking a lot about the end of Duthie’s Books on 4th Ave. and the bookstore business in general. Opening a bookstore is something my wife and I have bounced around since the first week we met. Owning a good one, I think, would be up there with teaching in the pantheon of really awesome things to do with your life. Unfortunately (or rather, fortunately) I really like what I’m doing right now.

Thankfully, there’s bibliophile porn…

The now closed 25th St. Bookstore in Cleveland | Ohio, USA (photo: Lisa DeJong/The Plain Dealer)
The now closed 25th St. Bookstore in Cleveland | Ohio, USA (photo: Lisa DeJong/The Plain Dealer)
Marga Schoeller Bücherstube | Berlin, Germany
Marga Schoeller Bücherstube | Berlin, Germany

Daunt Books, London UK
Daunt Books, London UK
selexyz dominicanen maastricht inside
The Boekhandel Selexyz Dominicanen in Maastricht

Francis Robinson at home, New York
Collector Francis Robinson in his library at home, New York

Black Dog Books, London UK
Black Dog Books, London UK

Eureka Books, Eureka CA. USA
Eureka Books, Eureka CA. USA

The Infinity Bookshelf
The Infinity Bookshelf
leoniestair3
Stairway...

Hay-on-Wye, Wales UK (photo: Barbara Röss)
Hay-on-Wye, Wales UK (photo: Barbara Röss)
selexyz-bookstore-maastricht_1
The Boekhandel Selexyz Dominicanen in Maastricht
Digitally Fabricated Bookshelf (photo: dbd Studio)
Digitally Fabricated Bookshelf (photo: dbd Studio)
Unknown (photo: christine eva)
Unknown (photo: christine eva)
shakespeare-and-co-240
Exterior | Sharespeare & Co. Antiquarian Books in Paris
inside-shakespeare-and-co
Interior | Sharespeare & Co. Antiquarian Books in Paris
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The Livraria Lello in Porto, Portugal.

The Libreria in Amsterdam (photo: MorBCN)
The Libreria in Amsterdam (photo: MorBCN)

The Long Room at Trinity Library, Cambridge UK.
The Long Room at Trinity Library, Cambridge UK.
Trinity Library
Trinity Library, Cambridge UK.
Carl Spitzweg's "The Bookworm" (1850)

Duthie’s closing adds further echo to a time in Vancouver when books were bought, sold, and exchanged at stores that were part of the cultural fabric of their neighbourhoods. The Duthie’s staff knew who shopped there. They were fixtures in Kitsilano, as was their store. Once upon a time it was a cathedral, and in its end we will hope for another and slake our sorrows in the pleasures of what we have left: Pulp Fiction, Macleod’s, and the few other remaining independent palaces of the printed word. Vox audita perit, litera scripta manet.

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There are 11 comments

  1. I lived in Boston for years and sadly watched their independent bookstores fade away. I was happy when I moved to Vancouver and saw that there were a few shops still alive and apparently doing well. But I guess I was mistaken about how they were doing after all.

    I loved Duthie’s. I could request books via twitter and pick them up at lunch. They almost always had what I was looking for or could get it in a few days. And it was just a wonderful place to browse. I’ve loved bookstores my whole life, and anytime one closes, it feels like the city loses a little bit of its soul.

  2. I’m fairly certain that “The Long Room at Trinity Library, Cambridge UK” and “Trinity Library, Cambridge UK.” are actually in Trinity College Dublin, Ireland. Of course, a lot of my memories of Dublin are hazy and stout/whiskey filled… i.e. I might be mistaken.

  3. thank you for the lovely pics…. still miss the spiral staircase at the old Duthies at Robson and Howe

  4. Nothing has sucked the way that the Prairie Avenue Bookstore closing has. When I lived in Chicago, I could spend days in that place. It was all design, mainly architecture, and it was amazing. I left a lot of time and money in that place, but always felt great about it.

  5. I am a book worm, love books, book shops, libraries and street book salers, living in London from last 50 years, reading room of old British Library was the one place I miss the most!!, Book shops are closing in wholesale every where.
    But there are still few left in places like Paris and London.
    The collection of these photos are great just to see them make me remind good old days.

  6. hey,just a correction on 1 of your picutres,the old library is in Dublin and not Cambridge
    as detailed in your picture.

  7. The pictures of the Long Hall are actually Trinity College, Dublin not Trinity College, Cambridge! Thanks

  8. There is a street in Mexico City, near Templo Mayor, where antiquarian bookstores look like an authentic bookworm’s home. ūüėČ