This is the third year in a row (see end-of-the-year postings 2o13, 2014) that Denise and I have closed out December in New York City bookstores of merit. I think of this not so much as a holiday tradition but more like stockpiling books for the 2016 reading campaign. I always bring my potential book shopping list and try to play stump the clerk. Here's this year's quick rundown:
Rizzoli Books, 1133 Broadway (near the Flatiron Building)
This store moved to this new location earlier this spring after being 30 years on 57th street. This spacious bookstore is gorgeous inside as you can see, (top photo) but it doesn't mean a thing if you can't be tempted with a wide selection of fiction, design books, art books, cook books and nonfiction. I picked up Haruki Murakami's What I Talk About When I Talk About Running (2008) and The Ballad of a Small Player (2014) by Lawrence Osborne. The photo in the store window (shown here) has both Alfred Hitchcock reading a book about birds coupled with a photograph of the old store as well.
192 Books, 10th Avenue in Chelsea
I received a gift certificate from this favorite store of mine and took no time to begin my post-holiday shopping. Because it was the day after Christmas, there were some gaps in the stacks (good for them). I still found something I was looking for -- Our America: A Hispanic History of the United States (2014) by Felipe Fernandez-Armesto.
Kinokuniya, Bryant Park
Since it is just across the street from the New York Public Library on 42nd Street and 5th Avenue, I am surprised I had not been to this bookstore. Known for its anime and Manga selections in Japanese and Chinese, this store also has a huge selection of fiction and high end books on design, maps and art. I liked their stationary section and took home a few Uni-ball Signo pens. It took some self control not bring Phaidon Publishing's new book on maps home with me.