Monday, May 12, 2014

Three Lives Booksellers - New York, NY

Three Lives Booksellers, NYC.  I think the outside of this places looks great!  Just the kind of place you want to visit!
A friend of mine, well respected in the literary world, and a person who is knowledgeable of independent bookstores throughout the country recommended Three Lives Booksellers and owner Toby Cox with this glowing compliment.  "Pound for pound, this is the best independent bookstore in NYC.  You can go into this store blind and whatever you put your hand on and pull out, it will be a winner.  I never go to this store without spending less than $100-200."  When he says "pound for pound," that may be a reference that this bookstore is on the smallish side.  When he says "whatever you put your hand on and pull it out it will be a winner," is a testament to the due diligence and fine job that owner Toby Cox is doing at Three Lives.  I was not disappointed.

This place is a no-nonsense, cut-to-the-chase bookstore.  And I mean that in the best of ways.  Located in Greenwich Village, Three Lives is in an older building, mixed in among small businesses and residential.  It feels more residential to me though.  If you close your eyes while you're in this store you'll hear the floors creak and classical music in the background (maybe they play hip-hop on the days other than my visit???).  I don't know how it could be any better!

The inventory, displays, and staff selections all look great.  Even though it's a small store, there's a lot to pick from.  When I say this place is no-nonsense, it doesn't dress itself up with souvenirs, trinkets, gifts, and lots of additional sale items.  Just books.

Sadly, I didn't get to meet Toby on the day of my visit.  Instead, I got to meet the two super staff members who were there, Troy and Carol.  Have I ever met an indie staff member I didn't like?  No!  Troy and Carol were knowledgeable, gave me some great recommendations, and as with so many others were very patient with me on my visit despite being busy and having so much to do.  These are the kind of staff members who are the vital life blood to these indies.

Take a trip to Greenwich Village in NYC, lots of unique places to visit and check out.  Go down the street from Three Lives and sip a latte at a small little coffee place, Jack's.  Then visit Three Lives, put your hand on a book, and pull out a winner.  Go to an indie and buy a book.  Bonsoir!

CURRENTLY READING:  The Flame Throwers, Rachel Kushner.  Highly recommended from a few others, hasn't grabbed me yet.

JUST FINISHED:  Wait Till Next Year, Doris Kearns Goodwin.  Brooklyn and growing up in the 1950s and the passion for the Brooklyn Dodgers.  Loved it.  4.5 stars.  On The Come Up, Hannah Weyer.  Non-fiction, unwed, pregnant teen growing up in impoverished Rockaway.  Loved it.  4.5 stars.

RECENTLY PURCHASED:  Annihilation, Jeff Vandermeer.  Demon Camp, Jennifer Percy.  The Daughters of Mars, Thomas Keneally.  Naturally, I have high hopes for all.  Naturally, I have no idea when I'll get to them.

Outside window display.

Another outside window display.

Three Lives as you walk in the front door.   

Staff member Troy (L) and yours truly.  

Troy and the great display of staff picks.  

I love this location!

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