Long-time book and food lover Paige Lipari (Family of Many Enzos, Augury Books, 2012) is combining her two passions and opening Archestratus Books. The shop will be located on Huron Street just off the Greenpoint G-Train stop. The space will house hundreds of cookbooks and host dinner parties with a warm, intimate atmosphere. Join Archestratus as they open their doors tomorrow, October 2nd, and sample some Sicilian baked goods while browsing a variety of cook books! Visit their page to find out more about the shop’s grand opening, and check the blog later this month for an interview with Lipari on how the shop came to be.
One of the few independent bookstores left in Manhattan, Bonnie Slotnick Cookbooks recently reopened at a new location on 28 East Second Street. The store’s owner, Bonnie Slotnick, sat down with Augury to discuss her shop and the recent changes it has undergone.
Augury Books: How did you decide to start selling books?
Bonnie Slotnick: I had begun collecting cookbooks when I was in my twenties. When I was thirty, I saw a store selling new cookbooks in the city. I ended signing up to become a book scout for them. After a while, I was sick of being under somebody else’s sphere of influence and I opened my store. That was 17 years ago.
A: What made you decide to focus on cookbooks in particular?
B: I used to look at my mother’s cookbooks when I was a kid. She didn’t have a lot, but there was one that I was just particularly taken with. I used to look at it all the time. It was my favorite book when I was ten or eleven. When I started seeing the books in stores, they really resonated with me. I found old cookbooks and they really struck a chord with me. The old ones are much more interesting; there’s so much history. The new ones all look the same to me.
A: What are some of your favorite books you’ve sold?
B: I like books from the 20s, 30s, 40s. I like books that are in the format of conversations. Some books at the start of the 19th century were written as a conversation between an older woman and a new bride or young girl who has to take care of her family. I like that the conversation isn’t just comprised of instructions. They’re in the form of letters.
A: How has the move been?
B: It was very traumatic to lose the lease on my store after all these years. I was very lucky to find someone who wanted to rent to me. And now I’m a tenant and I have a much bigger spot for the same rent. And it has a backyard. It’s really unbelievable. They really wanted a bookstore as their tenant.
A: Do you have any plans for the new space?
To restock. I’m now certain to buy again. And I have enough room that I can have events here – author events. Because I have a nice space in an interesting neighborhood, people are already getting in touch with me. If somebody wants to have a talk or a book club, I have space for that. Classes can come. Professors would bring their classes to the old shop, and we’d be packed in. Now I feel like I can have a square dance in here!
For more on Bonnie Slotnick Cookbooks, visit the website.