On Needing Restraint, or a Later-Blog of My Trip to Strand

I took a day off and went to Strand Book Store, a legendary and thoroughly dangerous shop in New York. I wanted to get a book for my kids’ collection, a dinosaur encyclopedia. A book. ONE book. I was determined to get JUST. ONE. book.

As I’ve previously mentioned, I cannot be trusted in bookstores. Not thinking I was strong enough to pick up a book and put it back down, I took pictures, as if a proxy would make do. At the very least I’d have a title to add to my Amazon wishlist. What follows is pretty much a running commentary of my trip through the store.

This caught my attention as I made my way through the phalanx of bestseller tables that clog the entrance.


Okay. I maybe want this, but this is not the book I came for. Still, I am the type of mom who wants a Ruth Bader Ginsberg action figure for her kids… This book, maybe….. [takes a photo] moving on. But then…


… and then…


I’m not buying. I’m not buying [clicks pics] but I know what some people are getting for Christmas this year, but not now. Resist. We’re here for… What the?




A photicular? I HAVE TO HAVE THIS!!! [picks up book; walks away]. Oh, hi there, table on NYC history books.


Just say no. [click click click click]. Bye, NYC table. Moving towards the back, past the banned books table, heading for the information desk, resisting the urge to browse.


Ignoring the siren call of the stacks. Beware the cart beckoning me to browse its wares. Mysteries waiting to be discovered and solved. A ladder. Resist. Go to the info desk. Swing back around to the front of the store, past the NY history section to get to the stairs and —


DAMMIT!!!! How did a book on organized crime’s role in boxing get in my basket? When did I pick up a basket?! Damn you, Strand!!!!


Destination reached. Just get that one book.


Wait, no, that’s not … How did…? Fuck it.


[Starts chucking random books in the basket]


An academic text on female fandom of professional wrestling in the 1950s is the mic drop ending today’s shopping experience.


Book buyer’s remorse: Feeling like you didn’t buy enough.


Yeah, and his name is American Express. On my way out of the store I pass the “staff recommends…” table and get sucked in to reading the index cards mounted in front of each title.


[gulp; click]  Not today, Satan. Maybe tomorrow.


6 thoughts on “On Needing Restraint, or a Later-Blog of My Trip to Strand

  1. Record Stores, and Book Stores are my wallet’s enemy. The Strand being one of my own favorites as well. Hell, it is one of the only bookstores left here in NYC, and a visit there is always an adventure as you describe. Great post!

    Liked by 1 person

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