I LOVE a good bookstore. New, used, whatever. Any bookstore. I love seeing all the cover designs (I know you aren't supposed to judge a book by its cover, but I'm an artist. It basically comes with the territory), reading the backs, and flipping through the pages. Here are two recent paintings I've done of some of my favorite bookstores!
First up: the Strand. 10/10 most likely place for you to find me if I have time to kill near Union Square. I'm likely up in the art section, doing a lap of my favorite artists and photographers seeing if they have anything new in that might be out-of-print, and deciding if I'm willing to carry around that book of Mark Freeman drawings for the rest of the day or if I really need to spend my money on that really beautifully illustrated copy of Scandinavian folk tales (both were begrudgingly left at the bookstore). Most of my art books (and there are many) come from the Strand, and I reference them enough that I usually feel justified in an occasional purchase. While I really WANT to like the dollar carts outside the store itself, they are mostly totally overwhelming to me. Maybe one day I'll get the hang of them! This is the view of the store from 12th, versus the more frequented view from Broadway (which, as it happens, I've painted before.)
Next up: Books are Magic in Carroll Gardens! It's a short jaunt from my apartment, and I became familar with it from two blogs I read: Cup of Jo and Designsponge. The latter of which released "Good Company" back in May, which was stocked at the store and gave me an excellent excuse to visit for the first time. It's gorgeous, inside and out, and the exterior has a very sketchable mural, which naturally put it on my sketch list. I was given an excuse to go back and finally paint it when Cup of Jo was having a bake sale at the store (sorry, I cut the table of baked goods out of the sketch!). Do you have any favorite bookstores, in NYC or out? Do I need to add any to my sketch list?
Last: a nocturne of Unnameable Books (with the Little Cupcake Shop next door). I'll come clean: I have never been inside the bookstore, but have always enjoyed it's sign and storefront (I have, however, had a cupcake next door.)