Random note: Potterton Books

This morning I was early for a meeting. Very early. I circled the block a couple of times before deciding I’d just kill time sitting with a cup of coffee at the coffee shop where the meeting was going to be. Upon entering the building, my eyes locked onto the word “books.” Yea! A bookstore. Problem solved.

On the 4th floor of 200 Lexington Avenue is the recently relocated New York City outpost of UK bookseller Potterton Books. Focused on design, decoration and architecture, the shop is a glass cube surrounded by other glass cubes filled with furniture, lighting and decorative design. It is 180 degrees from the building in the photograph of the original North Yorkshire shop. In operation, it is very British: Organization is loose. Pricing is often unmarked. There is no computerized catalogue. It’s a bit incongruous, a charming old-fashioned shop in the very modern space.

There is a small selection of photography books. I wanted the copy of Mrs. David Bailey, but $175 was a little too much for an impulse purchase. They also have what appears to be a new copy of Diane Keaton’s Mr. Salesman from Twin Palms Publishers also caught my eye, though it was unpriced. And the owner wasn’t there and there’s no computerized price list and so I can’t buy it. Supposedly they’ll text me the price when the owner gets in, but they’re not sure if she’ll be in before noon when I need to head to my next meeting…

So, it’s a charming bookshop but a frustrating one.

Update: Robert, the chatty and knowledgable sales person, got back to me shortly before noon to let me know the price. I was able to get back upstairs to pick up the book and pay via an old fashioned chunk-chunk credit card machine. Awesome.

Categorised as: Book Notes, Books, New York City, Rant

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