Saturday, February 20, 2016

Geek out over New York’s impressive array of specialty bookstores

Bonnie Slotnick Cookbooks in Manhattan has an array of out-of-print cookbooks. (Nevin Martell For The Washington Post) (Nevin Martell/For The Washington Post)

It was a chilly mid-November day whose slate-gray sky constantly threatened showers, so I bundled up in both a fleece and a raincoat. In such intemperate weather, I usually arm myself with a strong cup of coffee and a good book. One problem: I didn’t have anything to read. Luckily, I was in New York City. Though there has been much talk in recent years about the death of the printed word, Gotham is home to a wealth of excellent bookstores. The best aren’t necessarily the sprawling general-interest shops; they’re the ones designed to be the ultimate geek-out spots for subject-specific bookworms.

Case in point is Bonnie Slotnick Cookbooks in Manhattan’s East Village, which spent 17 years in the West Village before moving to its current location last February. Tucked below street level in a basement, it has a comfortable, lived-in feel. Coming in, I heard the whirl of a dryer punctuated by the metallic clinks of buttons and zippers hitting the inside of the drum — a remnant from the days when the space was an apartment. A door in the back provided a glimpse of an open-air courtyard garden. Its inviting warmth practically demanded I shuck my jackets and relax.  MORE

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