As mentioned in the September 8th posting “Chelsea Lit Crawl,” I wanted to dedicate a specific posting to another bookstore that I visited recently when I was in New York City – Printed Matter, Inc.
Printed Matter, Inc. carries tens of thousands of pamphlets, zines, posters, but mainly they stock what they define as artists' books or “publications that have been conceived as artworks in their own right. These ‘projects for the page’ are generally inexpensive, often produced in large or open editions, and are democratically available.” To say the least, there is quite an eclectric collection and you can shop online if you are so inclined.
When I was there I purchased two books. The first was an illustrated book about the High Line, the former elevated rail line that was converted into a greenway beginning in 2006. Its full title A Field Guide and Handbook of Thoughts, Musings, Observations, Case Studies, and Histories (Alternative, Conventional & Otherwise) on the Elevated Structure Formerly and Now Known as the High Line of the Borough of Manhattan (2013) serves not only as a title but practically as a synopis as well. The book looks and feels like one of those nature field guides that you might find at a National Park gift shop with detailed illustrations of birds, insects and plants that live in this reclaimed habitat. There is a also a brief history of the High Line, which is an example of how local activism can effect major changes.
Although Printed Matter, Inc. (shown left) handles thousands of books from other publishers, High Line by Mark Dion, Jorge Colombo, Ethan House, et. al was published by the book store itself.
My second pick was Objects in This Mirror: Essays (2014) by Brian Dillon. Admittedly, the book is still in it's shrinkwrap, so I have not read it yet, but I will get to it before the end of the year. (See my December 13th posting.) It is published by Sternberg Press out of Germany and the display copy looked intriguing with its promotional blurb from Wayne Koestenbaum. Moreover, Dillon is the UK editor of one of my favorite periodicals Cabinet Magazine.