Sunday was a gorgeous day for the 5th Avenue BID Fair, but I missed it due to my literary leanings. We stopped by the Bibliobus to pick up a dinosaur book, bought a bookish gift for my niece, and checked out the various talks, stalls, and offerings. There were loads of excellent bookstores (many featured here), literary items, and authors, but I'll just elaborate on two reasons to visit other areas of Brooklyn.
Novel-T "Wear Your Read" at the Freebird Books stall (table?) caught my eye. I first, of course, checked out Freebird Books. Who can resist a place that sells Moxie* and hosts student poetry jams (at least they did a couple of years ago)? I haven't been there for a while, but it is always a great stop. The stand was kind of crowded, and having a child-filled sling hampers my pushing and shoving abilities.
That's when I moved to the left and noticed the display in the photo above. These Novel-T people have some pretty cool shirts to sell you. They're not cheap, but they'd make a great gift for someone who loves literature.
Do you know a slightly condescending scrivener? There's a Bartleby t-shirt. Know someone who loves to have fun, but always gets into scrapes? There's a Sawyer t-shirt. And there's a Finn t-shirt for the cooler, less conventionial, adventurous friend. You can also give a (Moby) Dick t-shirt to someone as a mixed message. The only woman (so far) is represented by the Prynne t-shirt. Maybe a Pontellier will come soon, or perhaps Chopin (Kate, not Frederik) is a little less obscure to most.
I'm too dense to know what the numbers on the t-shirts stand for, so feel free to chime in with your ideas. Update: I'm also too dense to remember to plug the launch party for the t-shirts at Freebird Books. This Sunday (9/20/09) from 2 - 5 in the afternoon.
* It's the only place I know that sells Moxie, and my father-in-law drinks Moxie regularly. He doesn't do it because it's novel; he does it because he likes it and he says it's good for you. I need my Moxie cut with seltzer or something less - potent.
Another interesting table/stand was from Word Books out of Greenpoint. There were some excellent children's books and sweet without being saccharine notecards. I first heard about this place here. The owner was incredibly friendly, and everything they had out was thoughtfully chosen, visually enticing, and just fun.
Both Freebird and Word are featured in this slideshow.
It's not easy to make a living at selling books right now (ever?), but don't you think that Sunset Park could use a great independent bookstore? Or even a mediocre one to start? Bay Ridge has a couple (Bookmark Shoppe, Bay Ridge Bookstore - don't know info for this one. On 4th in the 80's), and Park Slope has been losing them like crazy. How amazing would it be to have the Rainbow Cafe and Bookstore? I know I'm dreaming, but seriously, how great would that be?