Favorite Bookstores of All Time

Posted: March 30th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: personal | Tags: | 2 Comments »

Here are my top five favorite bookstores of all time (any era, any place, with the caveat that I haven’t traveled much):

1. Tattered Cover, Denver

I’ve been to a lot of bookstores in my life and this is still my favorite. I miss the days when it was just the Cherry Creek store and the LoDo store and if I had to choose between the two, I’d go with the Cherry Creek store since it had more of a homey feel and less of a downtown feel and I loved the restaurant on top.

2. Four Corners, Colorado Springs

For me, this was the perfect used bookstore (around 1994). Sadly, it is no more. It changed hands a couple of times and then closed for good. No idea what happened to their stock. It was huge. Tons of my Nabokov paperbacks and Nicholson Baker UK editions and Updike rarities were picked up there on the cheap.

3. The Strand, NYC

Again, I like the Broadway & 12th location a lot, but I loved the now-defunct Fulton St. Annex location mainly because it was less crowded and felt less picked over. I never went into the Strand looking to buy anything in particular, always just to browse.

4. BookPeople, Austin TX

Maybe it’s because I’ve been to this one the most in the past few years, but I’ve always loved it. Their bargain section is not huge, the coffee shop is not great, but it has such a great atmosphere that I could spend hours there easily.

5. Powell’s, Portland OR

In fairness, I only spent two days here. I loved it: huge selection, tons of used books, nice cafe. A lot of people rank this as their #1 shop, but it’s just not my #1.

Honorable mentions: Chinook Bookshop, Poor Richards, Boulder Bookstore, McKenzie-White, Davis-Kidd, Three Lives & Co., Biography Bookshop, Politics & Prose

Store I would most like to visit: Booked Up, Archer City, TX

Town I would most like to visit (for book shopping): Hay on Wye

Suttree paper, comments by DFW

Posted: March 10th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: DFW | Tags: , , , | 8 Comments »

Shawn Miklaucic has shared a paper he wrote in 1997 for David Foster Wallace’s English 487 class. The topic is Cormac McCarthy’s Suttree and Fredric Jameson. Wallace’s annotations appear throughout. Thanks, Shawn!

Shawn Miklaucic Rnslish 487… by on Scribd

Crappy iPhone pics of the DFW stuff currently on display in the Ransom Center lobby

Posted: March 9th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: DFW | Tags: , , | 4 Comments »


Rich’s conclusion (which I agree with) is that the public/private elements of reading need not be mutually exclusive, at least until the dawn of a DeLilloan nightmare, when mass-reading groups assemble in a single room like a bunch of Moonies tying the knot. Rich introduces Matthew Bucher, who runs an online discussion group for David Foster Wallace Fans called “Wallace-L.”While Bucher is a clear example of the modern reader—interested in making connections and building communities—he also values the solitude that reading provides: “I still read the book at home at night by myself with one lamp.”

Of the DFW archive, I wanted to see what the Ransom Center had chosen to display in the lobby the day after the acquisition announcement.

There are four items on display:

1. the cover page of the first two sections of Infinite Jest sent to Bonnie Nadell. The page is covered in notes.

2. a notebook of typescript pages of Infinite Jest

3. the heavily annotated galley of the Borges biography DFW reviewed for the NY Times in 2004.

4. the poem about Vikings Wallace wrote at the age of six or seven. It is believed to be the first time he signed anything “David Foster Wallace” (top of page).

There are also some great letters to and from Vera Nabokov regarding Vladimir Nabokov possibly writing the screenplay for The Day of The Locust or Invisible Man.