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Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Park Avenue Book Store Calendar, 1984


Here's a curious pairing of bookmark to book: A Park Avenue Book Store calendar found in Houston: Land of the Big Rich, by George Fuermann (Doubleday, 1951).

At first glance, you'd think the book about the big rich in Houston was marked by a transparent red calendar for a bookstore in the Big Apple: Land of Some Really Big Rich. But this Park Avenue is found in Rochester, New York, not NYC.


The calendar is circa 1983/1984, the two years printed on it. Tracking that 25-year-old clue, about all I can find presently is a mention from Peggy Rosenthal in the acknowledgments for her book Words & Values: "Herb Leventer, whose Park Avenue Book Store has become a sort of personal research center for Rochester's many writers and avid readers..."

So the bookstore with the big-city name appears to have been a literary hangout for its city. And it likely went the way of so many other once-viable book places. I had hoped to find it still thriving as an independent centerpiece of Rochester's literary community. They're a dying breed. Even in the land of the big rich.

But wait... Rochester's bookstore community appears to be alive and well. Read about it here. Aside from the big chain store, there are a fair number of smaller independents staking their claim for the readership of Rochester. I'd call that the Big Enrich.

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