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

February 15, 2010.

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
lello-bookstore-porto
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)
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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