When I was a kid I worked at an independent record store off Steinway Street. My old boss told me that the reason he got the lease for the commercial space was that the prospective tenants before him wanted to open a bookstore, and the landlord had refused to give them the lease, believing firmly that Astorians would not keep a bookstore afloat.
That was eighteen years ago, and I am still waiting for my bookstore.
The subway takes me to 57th in ten minutes, where I walk over to the AOL/Time Warner Mall, where there is a Borders. That’s fine, but it’s not love.
And there is a place on Broadway and 33rd, I think, called Seaburn, so Astoria is not completely without books, but....
I yearn for a mega-bookstore. You know, at least three-thousand square feet of book bliss, along with a section for overpriced journals and bookmarks that I can snag when they go on sale.
I can take or leave the cafe, we have plenty of those, but my unrequited desire is for a shiny, enormous, bookstore stocked with thousands of periodicals and an even more impressive array of books to come into my life.
Of course, I would rather it be walking distance from the subway at Steinway, and there are a few decent options as far as commercial real estate offerings are involved (like the site of the old Blockbuster, for example), but I would settle for anything in the LIC area.
(Just noticed with chagrin that a previous post about not being midtown west has a glaring error--it says midtown east instead, at least three times--clearly got past me. I’m leaving it, not into revisionist history.)
So on this day, reserved for dying red flowers and terrible service at any restaurant that qualifies as “romantic,’” I confess my tale of guilty desire, for rows and rows of hardcover books, for aisles and aisles of travel books, books about Turing machines, nineteenth century art and twentieth century iconoclasts. And special edition copies of the Dr.Seuss series. For pop-up books and books that just smell really good when you quickly flip through the pages, unconsciously assessing the weight of the tome. For comic books.
Maybe the big chains, or some independent magnate are just not interested; it wounds me profoundly to ruminate on a love that does not reciprocate.
I did not sleep at all last night, tossing in bed instead, hoping for even a hint of interest, ready to accept any advance. Maybe it will come today.