As a good library school graduate, I try to look for books everywhere I go: stores, other people’s homes, museums. Especially museums. There’s no better place for books to be available for browsing and display than at a museum.
My recent trip to the Queens Museum for their exhibition on the Ramones was no exception. (Seriously, if you’re in Queens go and see it. And if you live in Forest Hills or ever spent a bored Friday night in your teenage years wandering around Austin street, you simply must.) There were books everywhere. There were books in the Ramones gallery…
… and books in the middle of an atrium just waiting to be picked up and read. Literally.
Museum curators asked exhibiting artists for their book recommendations, procured copies, set them on a cart, and welcomed people to sit down for a bit and read. Absolutely brilliant.
Some titles were new, some old. Some unfamiliar, some not. I recognized this one immediately:
I love this book –a collection of anecdotes, essays, and reminiscences about New York — because of the section on the South Street Seaport, especially the story about the former hotel on Fulton Street that’s now a part of the Seaport Museum. I was an educator there many, many moons ago and witnessed the old hotel’s rehabilitation and pseudo-resurrection (before the museum went to total crap, of course; now it’s a shell of its former self, but I digress…). I always liked the story of how it was “rediscovered.”
There were also zines for perusing.
And in the true spirit of the zine movement, there was a copier available for visitors to bring home their favorites!
One of my favorite parts of any museum is the guestbook. I am always entertained by the creativity and prose of those who leave their marks.
Like a good museum patron (and mature adult), I signed the guest book, too.
Last, but not least, was the gift shop. Two books of note. The Punk Rock Fun Activity Book …
… and What is Punk? which is probably the most adorable book I’ve ever seen.
I mean, just look at it!