Showing posts from May, 2021

Cinderella Stamp for an Elusive Bookstore

Here is a Cinderella stamp with a colorful illustration announcing that Knud Rasmussen's bookstore is moving to another location on the Vesterbrogade, the main shopping street of the Vesterbro district of Copenhagen, Denmark. Information on this bookstore is elusive, but it was likely named for Greenlandic-Danish polar explorer and anthropologist, Knud Rasmussen (1879-1933), who has been called "the father of Eskimology." If I can find more information about the bookstore, I will update this post. With a name like Knud Rasmussen, it would be fitting if the inventory consisted of books on polar exploration, the Inuit, Greenland, Anthropology, and the like. Books of science, adventure, and the humanities. Did they relocate for more room (a positive) or cheaper rent (possibly a negative) and did World War II, which was around the corner, have anything to do with the bookstore's demise? Or does it thrive yet under a succession of name changes? There's more to the stor

Paris Book Shops: Looking In, Looking Out

Two apparently different book shops in Paris. Two different women at their windows. One looks in at the books, the other looks out from within the display window where she is arranging books. They are separated in time by twenty years or more, but are united here in this space by their photographs, a display of books, and a little imagination. The top image is a wire photo by Elaine Beery taken from inside the Village Voice Bookstore in Saint-Germain-des-Prés, 1986. I acquired it because of the way the young woman looked at the books on display. There was something deep and thoughtful in her expression frozen in the blink of a camera's shutter. And was that a hint of sadness in her eyes that had nothing to do with the books or just the wistful gaze of a book lover on a restrictive budget? By contrast, the young woman working in the display window, peers out cheerfully. She smiles and seems to enjoy her task. She is surrounded by books. The back of this vernacular photograph indicat