March 28, 2011: McNally Jackson Books

PAGES READ on Saturday: 0 (I was on my own with three kids…)
PAGES READ on Sunday: 27
PAGES READ on Monday: 4
CURRENTLY READING: Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy, The Finkler Question by Howard Jacobson and The Devil & Sherlock Holmes by David Grann
-1,687 PAGES

The return to the Russian has been slow going. Catherine was right: this is not a book that lends itself to a lengthy absence. There really are a lot of different characters each with multiple name variations. Are Stiva, Stepan Arkadyech and Oblonsky all the same person? I think so but I’m not 100% certain and it kind of affects the plot if they’re not. I will most definitely not be finished before the end of March; I think Easter is a more realistic target. I hear a lot happens at the end so at least I have something to look forward to.

I recently learned of the existence of McNally Jackson Books in Manhattan (Nolita, to be exact) and though I’ve never been there, I love it already. Isn’t it gorgeous? One of my more cynical friends glanced at a picture of the space and said, “Someone’s parents have money.” I look at it and think, “Wow! Wouldn’t it be great to live in New York where the population density can support so many different retail ventures? They have the coolest stuff there!” The store is so stylish that it was recently featured on Remodelista, one of the best design blogs out there. The designers, Front Studio, were trying to create a “place that is evocative of literature”. For me, that usually means dark wood, walls lined with book shelves, comfy couches and a wood-burning fireplace, but this space is good too. I could get used to hanging out here except that the staff sound like SERIOUS readers and it might be a bit intimidating.

So what’s the point of all this? It’s twofold. First, if you live in New York, check out this store because it looks pretty cool; and second, when you’re avoiding reading 19th century Russian literature, there’s a lot of material on the internet to keep you distracted.

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