Monday, October 13, 2014

Idlewild Books - New York, NY

Idlewild Books - New York, NY

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Tastes great or less filling?  Breath mint or dinner mint?  Bookstore or foreign language school?  It doesn't matter because this place is both.  Just when I think I've seen it all on my journey, then I come to a place like Idlewild Books and the mold is broken once again.

Everywhere I go people continue to give me suggestions of more independent bookstores to visit.  When I visited Black Dog & Leventhal Publishers, Becky K. was no different and strongly suggested I walk a couple blocks down the street to visit Idlewild Books.  How fitting that I came here and found a bookstore where travel, especially international travel, is very much the central theme.  Travel guides and books for anywhere you want to visit or learn about.  Mixed in with these are books of fiction and non-fiction, all arranged by region and country.  If travel is your thing or in your future, I cannot recommend this store highly enough.  I think you can find a travel book with information from any country in the world.

So that's it Indie Bob, travel books and themes?  Here's the kicker here at Idlewild.  Very few sidelines of any kind, so their profit margin is enhanced by offering a very extensive schedule of foreign language classes.  Spanish, French, Italian, Arabic, and German are all offered here.  The classes run for 8 weeks and are very reasonably priced under $300.  A variety of levels are offered depending on your proficiency.  These are the sidelines at this indie.  Oh how I wish a bookstore near me would have a program like this.  If I were a New Yorker I'd be all over this.  And once in the store to attend a class, they may browse and buy a book.  Nice, very nice.  Citizens of Gotham, I command you to learn that foreign language you've always wanted to learn.  Take your son or daughter and go together for a great experience.

I didn't get to meet David, the owner, or Marcel, on this trip, but I did have a great time talking to Felipe, one of the staffers here.  I always hate to see bookstores without customers but during my visit it gave me lots of time to visit with Felipe.  He told me all about the store and its brief 6 year history.  LIke other indie staffers I get to visit with on my trips, he couldn't have been nicer and more generous with his time.  He also gave me numerous additional suggestions for other bookstores to see.  Just like my unread book pile, I also have unvisited bookstores waiting for a visit.  One more reason to keep traveling to NYC.

You'll always have lots to do when you visit NYC.  Mais, parlez-vous Fran├žais?  I didn't think so.  Go to Idlewild and let it change how you view a bookstore.  Go to an indie and buy a book.  Bonsoir.  I mean, guten nacht, or really buona sera.

CURRENTLY READING:  The Daughters of Mars, Thomas Keneally.

RECENTLY PURCHASED:  Notes From An Accidental Band Geek, Erin Dionne.  Pretty sure I'll like this one.  England Under Hitler, Comer Clarke.

Another exterior view.  I'm a little bothered by the neighboring business, B&N Hardware.  Really?  B&N?  Could this be a mole monitoring independent bookstores??!!  Curious indeed.  

Posted near the entrance.  Just a portion of the schedule for foreign languages.  

Located on the 2nd floor.  Up the stairs and entering the store looking to the left.  

Looking toward the right and the front of the building.  

Find travel info to any of these countries.  

...or any of these countries.  

A great display of staff picks.  

This area near the front of the store is one of the areas where language classes are held.  The view looks out onto West 19th St.  

Another area in the back of the store where language classes are held, complete with whiteboard.  

If you need a travel guide, this is your store.  

Foreign language kits.  

Great view looking out onto West 19th St. in lower Manhattan.  

Felipe, one of the fine staffers here at Idlewild and a great ambassador to me on my visit to Idlewild.  Thanks Felipe.  


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    1. Lots of great bookstores in NYC and this is one of them, especially for foreign languages. Thanks!


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