Catalogue

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Bookstore : the life and times of Jeannette Watson and Books & Co. /
Lynne Tillman.
edition
1st ed.
imprint
New York : Harcourt Brace Co., c1999.
description
xxv, 337 p. : ill., ports. ; 24 cm.
ISBN
0151004250
format(s)
Book
Holdings
More Details
imprint
New York : Harcourt Brace Co., c1999.
isbn
0151004250
general note
Includes index.
catalogue key
3233564
A Look Inside
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Publishers Weekly on 1999-09-13:
From the moment it opened its doors in 1977 to its final clearance sale in 1997, Jeanette Watson's bookstore on Manhattan's Upper East Side did everything an independent should do. It served as a clearinghouse for serious, often unconventional, titles and as a breeding ground for great readings, and through personal customer-staff relationships it brought a wide range of books to a diverse audience. But Books & Co., unable to survive a skyrocketing real-estate market and rising competition from chains and e-retailers, finally folded after an acrimonious battle with its landlord, the Whitney Museum of Art. "If the bookstore were going to continue, it would have to be totally changed, computerized, Internetted," Watson remarks. "Books & Co. was like the last nineteenth century bookstore in the twentieth century." In this fine series of reminiscences from a virtual pageant of New York luminaries, including Brendan Gill, Albert Murray, Susan Sontag, Fran Leibowitz, various store employees and, of course, Watson herself, novelist Tillman (No Lease on Life) recounts how Watson, daughter of IBM CEO Thomas Watson, created a vital literary hub for international glitterati as well as for local residents, Whitney employees, academics and tourists. Presented as oral history, the book condemns the aggressive marketing and pricing tactics of today's superstores, but it's also a celebration of what was a great cultural institution. The only regret is that Books & Co. isn't around to house this title on its vaunted shelves. 8-page spread of b&w photos and lists of Watson's bestsellers and every reading that ever took place in the store. (Oct.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Appeared in Library Journal on 1999-10-01:
Books & Co., located on Madison Avenue in Manhattan, was a leading independent bookstore from 1977 to 1997. The store was a booklover's dream: it sponsored a fabulous series of readings and became a place where writers and readers gathered. The store's closing (due to a rancorous rent dispute with its landlord, the Whitney Museum) became a cause c‚l`ebre, epitomizing the death of the independent bookstore. Here the bookstore's founder, Jeannette Watson, detailsÄvia Tillman (No Lease on Life)Äthe story of the bookstore's founding, its daily life, and its death. Woven together with Watson's narrative are the words of the bookstore's friends, some of them notable contemporary writers. This narrative technique is at once the book's strength and its greatest weakness. Some of this testimony gives insight into bookselling and publishing, but mostly it contains far too much repetitive grandiloquence on the store's importance. For comprehensive collections on publishing and bookselling.ÄPaul A. D'Alessandro, Portland P.L., ME (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Reviews
This item was reviewed in:
Booklist, August 1999
Kirkus Reviews, August 1999
Publishers Weekly, September 1999
Library Journal, October 1999
Los Angeles Times, October 1999
New York Times Book Review, October 1999
San Francisco Chronicle, December 1999
Washington Post, January 2000
To find out how to look for other reviews, please see our guides to finding book reviews in the Sciences or Social Sciences and Humanities.
Summaries
Main Description
For twenty years, from 1977 to 1997, Books Co. was one of the premier independent bookstores in the country. Stocking a wide range of quality fiction and nonfiction, Books Co. was the kind of bookstore writers and readers dream about: a place where reading was an adventure, where interesting works would always be available, where writers would congregate to share ideas and discuss their writing. Its closing, in a rent dispute with the Whitney Museum of Art, caused a media sensation as readers and book lovers decried the end of a cultural icon. In Bookstore, Lynne Tillman tells the story of this legendary store and its determined founder, Jeannette Watson, with help from the voices of Brendan Gill, Roy Blount Jr., Fran Lebowitz, Calvin Trillin, Susan Sontag, Paul Auster, Simon Schama, Lyn Chase, Susan Cheever, Leila Hadley, J.D. McClatchy, Richard Howard, and many more. And the story goes beyond the walls of the store itself to explore the state of publishing and bookselling in a time when the very landscape of the book world has shifted radically. A fascinating account of business, books, and writerly aspiration, Bookstore is a vital window into a world so many have fantasized about.
Main Description
For twenty years, from 1977 to 1997, Books & Co. was one of the premier independent bookstores in the country. Stocking a wide range of quality fiction and nonfiction, Books & Co. was the kind of bookstore writers and readers dream about: a place where reading was an adventure, where interesting works would always be available, where writers would congregate to share ideas and discuss their writing. Its closing, in a rent dispute with the Whitney Museum of Art, caused a media sensation as readers and book lovers decried the end of a cultural icon. In Bookstore, Lynne Tillman tells the story of this legendary store and its determined founder, Jeannette Watson, with help from the voices of Brendan Gill, Roy Blount Jr., Fran Lebowitz, Calvin Trillin, Susan Sontag, Paul Auster, Simon Schama, Lyn Chase, Susan Cheever, Leila Hadley, J.D. McClatchy, Richard Howard, and many more. And the story goes beyond the walls of the store itself to explore the state of publishing and bookselling in a time when the very landscape of the book world has shifted radically. A fascinating account of business, books, and writerly aspiration, Bookstore is a vital window into a world so many have fantasized about.
Table of Contents
Preface
Acknowledgments
Introduction
Bookstorep. 1
Afterwordp. 279
Jeannette Watson's Secret List of Fifty Books, her Best-Sellersp. 283
Twenty Years of Books and Co. Readingsp. 285
List of Contributorsp. 321
Indexp. 325
Table of Contents provided by Blackwell. All Rights Reserved.

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