Footnotes from the World's Greatest Bookstores
The local bookshop is the heart and soul of a community each one unique, each one filled with local characters, legendary stories, surprising quirks, and comfortable charm as readers, we cherish them as sanctuaries for learning and dreaming.In The NY Times bestseller Footnotes from the World's Greatest Bookstores, beloved New Yorker cartoonist Bob Eckstein has gathered the greatest untold stories from a seventy-five of the world s most renowned bookstores (both past and present) and paired them with evocative color illustrations of each shop. Here is a portrait of our lifelong love affair with bookstores that is at once heartfelt, bittersweet, and filled with good cheer.

Footnotes from the World's Greatest Bookstores Details

TitleFootnotes from the World's Greatest Bookstores
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseOct 4th, 2016
PublisherClarkson Potter
ISBN-139780553459302
Rating
GenreNonfiction, Writing, Books About Books, Travel, Art

Footnotes from the World's Greatest Bookstores Review

  • Barbara
    January 1, 1970
    This is a gorgeous book with "footnotes" about 75 bookstores around the world. About 10 of them are closed. Bob Eckstein has produced beautiful illustrations of each bookstore. These, as much as the anecdotes, make this book a "must have" for book lovers, and those of us dedicated to the survival of independent bookstores.
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  • Vikas Singh
    January 1, 1970
    A bad read. There is nothing special about the book. The illustrations are weak. The word "world" should not be used because more than 70% of the stores written about are from US only, majority of them being from a single city of New York alone. Not much research has gone behind because the two stores talked about from India are hardly anything great to talk about. There are better, more popular and more historic book stores in India. Do not be misled by the tantalizing cover .
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  • Jennifer
    January 1, 1970
    This is a perfect coffee table book or gift for a book lover. It provides little snippets of information and stories from amazing independent bookstores around the world. Sometimes I found the information pages lacking – Eckstein says in the intro that he narrowed 150 potential bookstores to the 75 included in the book, and it was hard to tell what made some of these special enough to be chosen. And the list is overwhelmingly American bookstores, with stores in New York seemingly overrepresented This is a perfect coffee table book or gift for a book lover. It provides little snippets of information and stories from amazing independent bookstores around the world. Sometimes I found the information pages lacking – Eckstein says in the intro that he narrowed 150 potential bookstores to the 75 included in the book, and it was hard to tell what made some of these special enough to be chosen. And the list is overwhelmingly American bookstores, with stores in New York seemingly overrepresented (understandable, because this book started as an NYC project, but I’d imagine there are more varied and exciting independent bookstores around the world than a fair number of the NYC ones that made it in). But the artwork is absolutely gorgeous, and the stories are funny and heartwarming. Ultimately, this is a beautiful testament to the vibrant, quirky communities that bookstores build and support.
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  • Corey
    January 1, 1970
    Marvelous. And our bookstore is in it!
  • Chris
    January 1, 1970
    From the World might be pushing it since about 17 are from NYC.Selection is also a bit hit or miss. I can understand the inclusion of many of the bookstores (Powell's, The Strand) - but seriously why isn't Foyle's mentioned? Or Kramerbooks in DC? Or Joseph Fox here in Philly? The Word in Montreal perhaps?Some of the stories are interesting -like the one about Bowie - but it is a very strange look at the word "greatest".
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  • Lauren
    January 1, 1970
    This is a lovely collection of 75 cherished bookstores, gathered by New Yorker cartoonist, Bob Eckstein. Each of the bookstores gets a full-page spread of art: a painted version of the storefront or the inside shelves, accompanied with some script of anecdotes and quotes from owners, managers, and customers.Only downside is that it is only 75 shops, and I felt that many good ones were excluded - ones that I have enjoyed "off the beaten path". I realize that New York City is the publishing capita This is a lovely collection of 75 cherished bookstores, gathered by New Yorker cartoonist, Bob Eckstein. Each of the bookstores gets a full-page spread of art: a painted version of the storefront or the inside shelves, accompanied with some script of anecdotes and quotes from owners, managers, and customers.Only downside is that it is only 75 shops, and I felt that many good ones were excluded - ones that I have enjoyed "off the beaten path". I realize that New York City is the publishing capital of the world and an amazing city, but roughly 25% of the bookstores featured here were in NYC, and a large number in the US. A few standouts of the "World's Greatest"appear in some other countries: Argentina, Portugal, China, UK, Italy... but the number is quite small compared to US, and even to NYC stores represented. Still worth a cozy curl up with this book. Enjoy the format and the beautiful artwork!
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  • Chris
    January 1, 1970
    A lovely little book highlighting 75 bookstores from around the world, with a watercolor painting and anecdote for each. This is one I'm perfectly fine with reading from the library and not owning.
  • Kathleen
    January 1, 1970
    Here is my Q&A for the Chicago Tribune: http://www.chicagotribune.com/lifesty...Bob Eckstein is a New Yorker cartoonist, a snowman expert and a passionate aficionado of local, independent bookshops. His intelligent and evocative book "Footnotes from the World's Greatest Bookstores" offers, as its subtitle says, "True Tales and Lost Moments from Book Buyers, Booksellers, and Book Lovers," in the form of 75 gloriously colorful paintings and accompanying anecdotes about these book-filled spaces Here is my Q&A for the Chicago Tribune: http://www.chicagotribune.com/lifesty...Bob Eckstein is a New Yorker cartoonist, a snowman expert and a passionate aficionado of local, independent bookshops. His intelligent and evocative book "Footnotes from the World's Greatest Bookstores" offers, as its subtitle says, "True Tales and Lost Moments from Book Buyers, Booksellers, and Book Lovers," in the form of 75 gloriously colorful paintings and accompanying anecdotes about these book-filled spaces at the heart of communities around the globe.Including contributions from such renowned readers as Terry Gross, Roz Chast and Chicago's own Chris Ware, plus a foreword by Garrison Keillor, this whimsical collection stands as a portable, hand-held compendium of the ineffable joy that is to be had in the sociable browsing of the idiosyncratic, idealistic — and all too often endangered — shops that serve as the sanctuaries of literature and the people who love it.On the eve of Independent Bookstore Day, which this year is Saturday, Eckstein discussed his book via email. Here's an edited transcript.Q: How did you decide to begin this project? How did you decide which stores to include?A: This started as an assignment for The New Yorker on endangered bookstores in New York City. It immediately went viral and attracted a book deal within hours of its publication. Over the course of two years, I became a bookstore expert and became emotionally invested in this project having heard endless inspiring and heartbreaking stories from the trenches. With the help of a team of publishing experts and recommendations from hundreds of people around the world, I narrowed my list of favorite bookstores down to 150 and eventually used the best 75 for the book. My criteria were their community involvement (those that support charity and were culturally important), historic relevance, the structure's beauty, their contributions to the publishing industry, their importance to its local artists (writers, poets and musicians alike) and my personal gut feeling. There are so many incredible bookstores, and I would've included more if space allowed. At some point, I would love to create a sequel.Q: Would you describe yourself as optimistic, pessimistic or something else when it comes to both the role and the fate of the independent bookstore in the 21st century?A: I realize that the answer I'm supposed to give is that I'm optimistic. While it is true that the past two years has seen an upswing in support for independent bookstores, the truth is that they — and mom-and-pop shops in general — need our help in this country. In Europe, there are protections against online price wars, and the competition here is causing many to close their doors. I think price regulations are necessary to their survival; otherwise, people are going to continue to browse in person but shop on their phones. People need to reward physical stores and our neighbors who run them for paying taxes that go to our local schools, post offices, roads and whatnot, so that Main Streets don't empty out. Bookstores are the cultural hub of our towns, where like-minded people meet. This thing about drones delivering our books — I can't have a meaningful conversation with a drone.It may sound corny, but it's pretty amazing how nobody went into the bookselling business to get rich, and yet everyone I've met has been so nice. Their main motivation is getting a book in people's hands and saving the written word.Q: What's the best thing that's ever happened to you in a bookstore?A: I'm going to share a story my editor and I agreed to cut from my book, but here goes. My love affair for bookstores began when, as an innocent teenager, I had a hot and heavy romantic interlude in the mysterious back aisles of New York City's Strand Bookstore.
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  • Melissa
    January 1, 1970
    I really liked this book but what makes these bookstores the greatest? Is it because they are popular, well-known, or is it because many listed can boast of celebrities and big name authors shopping or visiting there? There are so many independent bookstores that are great but yet they are not worthy of the title greatest. Maybe it is because they are not located in big cities like the majority of these bookstores are which is a tad unfair. Still in an interesting book on some of the bookstores I really liked this book but what makes these bookstores the greatest? Is it because they are popular, well-known, or is it because many listed can boast of celebrities and big name authors shopping or visiting there? There are so many independent bookstores that are great but yet they are not worthy of the title greatest. Maybe it is because they are not located in big cities like the majority of these bookstores are which is a tad unfair. Still in an interesting book on some of the bookstores out there and I would love to visit a few of them.
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  • Vanessa (splitreads)
    January 1, 1970
    I enjoyed this little book - it offers short introductions to bookshops, has silly or funny stories about famous literary figures going to the bookshops or interesting tidbits about customers. It also has beautiful art. I loved reading these in short bursts of 4 of 5 bookstores at a time.
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  • Nanette
    January 1, 1970
    If you enjoy visiting bookstores, libraries and seeing authors in person, you will most likely enjoy reading little snippets about the independent bookstores across the country and different parts of Europe. I did, and I have also written down a few I would like to visit if I ever venture in their direction! For example, there are about 3 in Chicago alone I should be able to get to sometime in the near future. :)
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  • Deb (Readerbuzz) Nance
    January 1, 1970
    Cartoonist Bob Eckstein has gathered little stories from seventy-five of the world's greatest bookstores and has accompanied the stories with beautiful watercolor illustrations. This book was a library read, but I think I need to get my own copy.
  • Dipali
    January 1, 1970
    This is such a gorgeous book. The illustrations are amazing and the anecdotes are wonderful. This book is perfect for bibliophiles, and has now given me a list of stores I have to visit!
  • Ally
    January 1, 1970
    This is a beautifully crafted book, and would be a lovely gift for a lover of books, but especially for a lover (and visitor) of bookshops. The author has curated a collection of diverse bookshops around the world, provided a brief overview (at most, a few sentences), some testimonials from authors or other bookish people, and a beautiful drawing of the building. I found myself flipping through the book, picking out the ones I've visited (City Lights, The Strand, Garden District Book Shop, Faulk This is a beautifully crafted book, and would be a lovely gift for a lover of books, but especially for a lover (and visitor) of bookshops. The author has curated a collection of diverse bookshops around the world, provided a brief overview (at most, a few sentences), some testimonials from authors or other bookish people, and a beautiful drawing of the building. I found myself flipping through the book, picking out the ones I've visited (City Lights, The Strand, Garden District Book Shop, Faulkner House Books), and noting the ones I want to visit (Posman Books, Giggles, Three Lives, Alabama Booksmith, Moravian Bookshop) ASAP!I have to admit that I bristle a bit at any collection of bookshops that calls itself "The World's Greatest", because often they're considered great because they're famous. I would pair this book Jen Campbell's THE BOOKSHOP BOOK, which gives a much wider and deeper look into bookshops around the world. While hers is more UK-focused, FOOTNOTES is decidedly more NYC-focused. Another bristling point is that, especially in our modern economy with Amazon and other deep-discount sources of books, bookshops are not a certainty. They may close at any time, and that can make these books irrelevant and obsolete at any time. In fact, BookCourt, one of the many NYC bookshops, shuttered not long after the publication of FOOTNOTES. If you're looking for a beautifully produced gift for a book lover, or if you enjoy coffee table books that are a delight to flip through, then I'd highly recommend FOOTNOTES FROM THE WORLD'S GREATEST BOOKSTORES. It's not a travel guide, but may inspire some wanderlust! The tome truly is an ode to books as well as the ideas and emotions that they can evoke.
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  • Alexandra
    January 1, 1970
    this would be the perfect little gift for a bibliophile who still appreciates the experience of shopping in brick and mortar bookstores. each page is dedicated to a particular bookstore somewhere in the world (mostly U.S. && mostly New York lol) and the illustrations are just gorgeous. there are quotes ranging from the owners of the stores to former workers to anonymous customers. some of the stores have closed a few years ago, and others fairly recently, but the author deemed them notew this would be the perfect little gift for a bibliophile who still appreciates the experience of shopping in brick and mortar bookstores. each page is dedicated to a particular bookstore somewhere in the world (mostly U.S. && mostly New York lol) and the illustrations are just gorgeous. there are quotes ranging from the owners of the stores to former workers to anonymous customers. some of the stores have closed a few years ago, and others fairly recently, but the author deemed them noteworthy enough to include in this book.i really enjoyed getting to know a little bit about each bookstore, and i definitely have a few on my list that i hope to get to visit sometime in the future. ☺️📚although online book shopping has sort of taken over, due to its being more affordable and giving customers access to way more books than you could find in any one physical store, there is something nice about wandering into a bookstore and picking out a few random things just for the hell of it. nothing beats the smell of a bookstore when you first walk in 🙌🏼
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  • Karen
    January 1, 1970
    This book is a coffee table books of sorts. It's comprised of illustrations of bookstores from all over the world (with an overrepresentation from Manhattan). The author asked bookstore owners to share vignettes. These are handwritten over the top of the illustrations. Many of the vignettes are about encounters with famous actors and authors. My favorite is about David Bowie. (No spoilers; just read the book.) Some are about events that happened, eccentric patrons, or about former or current own This book is a coffee table books of sorts. It's comprised of illustrations of bookstores from all over the world (with an overrepresentation from Manhattan). The author asked bookstore owners to share vignettes. These are handwritten over the top of the illustrations. Many of the vignettes are about encounters with famous actors and authors. My favorite is about David Bowie. (No spoilers; just read the book.) Some are about events that happened, eccentric patrons, or about former or current owners. It's a charming little book. I was expecting something more substantial about each bookstore, but for a coffee table book (small), it gets the job done quite admirably.
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  • Mark Fallon
    January 1, 1970
    A beautiful little book with illustrations of some of the world's most interesting bookstores. Accompanying each picture is a brief quip or story from the owner or devoted patron. I wanted to read it slowly, enjoying each story as a tasty morsel, but my appetite got the best of me, and I devoured the entire book in haste.While some of the bookstores are (sadly) out of business, others have been bookmarked for future visits.
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  • David
    January 1, 1970
    A great birthday gift from my lifelong friend, Anna Shipman (friends since nursery school)! Fun book design, charming illustrations, and fun tidbits about amazing and wonderful bookstores and their denizens. Could serve as a bucket list for real-life travel, or I can just continue to enjoy it as armchair travel -- I am sure I will read it over and over, probably end up memorized by the time all's said and done. Most of all, it makes me want to open a bookstore!
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  • Rebecca
    January 1, 1970
    I have looked at this little illustrated volume at Parnassus Books- one of the featured bookstores- but hadn't read it longer than flipping theough and selecting one or two stories. Saw it at the public library in the new arrivals section so checked it outand brought it home. What a wonderful way to spend a Saturday morning hour over coffee- I traveled to bookstores I have visited onmy travels and noted several to make my future destinations. Support your local independent bookstore!
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  • Antoinette
    January 1, 1970
    I would guess that if you love books, you love bookstores. Wherever I travel, I seek out a local bookstore and usually buy books, of course. That's why this book is so special. A beautifully rendered book about independent book stores. Many are well known-the Strand, Hatchard's, Powell's- some I had never heard of. The illustrations are stunning; the anecdotes and stories are charming. A bookstore lover's dream! Enjoy!
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  • John Hatley
    January 1, 1970
    This is great little book for everyone who likes books and bookshops! The only things I don't like about it is that there is no table of contents, no index and there are no page numbers. If you want to go back and look at the painting of a particular bookshop, you have to page through the entire book. Maybe that was intentional.
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  • Beth
    January 1, 1970
    4.5 Loved this collection of memories and illustrations of bookstores around the world. My only issue was that there were so many great bookstores left out and a few too many from New York. Would have been nice to see a bigger variety of locations around the globe. I've visited 9 of the 75 featured and will be adding many of the others still open to my bucket list!
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  • Jerrie (redwritinghood)
    January 1, 1970
    This was a cozy little book perfect for reading on this incredibly cold day. It contains beautiful paintings by the author along with short descriptions and anecdotes about bookstores around the world.
  • Joan
    January 1, 1970
    Loved this book. Lovely drawings and quotes and lil stories about each store. Made me want to visit them all!
  • Stephanie
    January 1, 1970
    I loved this book!!!! I've been reading a few pages over the months. The illustrations are beautiful and I now have a ton of new bookstores in my list to visit. Read it. You'll be glad you did.
  • Amanda
    January 1, 1970
    This book was a fun little read to consume in one sitting. I enjoyed reading the vignettes from bookstore owners and employees about random customers, famous authors, and writers. I loved reading about bookstores from the U.S. and around the world. I added a few must-see places to my list.
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  • Thomas DeWolf
    January 1, 1970
    I loved this book. As George Whitman, owner of Shakespeare and Company Bookstore in Paris (which is featured in this book; though this quote is from The Art of Pilgrimage, by Phil Cousineau, which I'm now reading) said, "... and that's what the books in my store do. They shed light in a time of darkness. That's why a bookstore is the place where heaven and earth meet." As a writer, and as a reader, bookstores are magical, mystical places for me. I found myself reading this book slowly, savoring I loved this book. As George Whitman, owner of Shakespeare and Company Bookstore in Paris (which is featured in this book; though this quote is from The Art of Pilgrimage, by Phil Cousineau, which I'm now reading) said, "... and that's what the books in my store do. They shed light in a time of darkness. That's why a bookstore is the place where heaven and earth meet." As a writer, and as a reader, bookstores are magical, mystical places for me. I found myself reading this book slowly, savoring each illustration and the brief, accompanying stories and quotes. I wanted to stretch out the experience of spending a moment of time in each of the bookstores; several of which I've visited; and a few at which I've spoken. I'm inspired to visit more. This is a very special book indeed, one that will help readers fall in love with bookstores and reading even more deeply than we already do. After all, they are places where heaven and earth meet...(PS: I also bought the postcard set of bookstore illustrations by Bob. What better postcard for a lover of bookstores to send to people, after all?)
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  • Jerry
    January 1, 1970
    Bob Eckstein, cartoonist, draws pictures of “the world’s greatest bookstores”, and letters each with an anecdote or two from the bookstore’s proprietor or a customer.Most of the bookstores in here that I’ve been to, I was not surprised to see them here: City Lights, Strand, Powell’s, and even Quimby’s are well-known at least among those of us whose first act in a new city is to search out the bookstores. I was pleasantly surprised to also see Detroit’s John H. King bookstore in the list. I disco Bob Eckstein, cartoonist, draws pictures of “the world’s greatest bookstores”, and letters each with an anecdote or two from the bookstore’s proprietor or a customer.Most of the bookstores in here that I’ve been to, I was not surprised to see them here: City Lights, Strand, Powell’s, and even Quimby’s are well-known at least among those of us whose first act in a new city is to search out the bookstores. I was pleasantly surprised to also see Detroit’s John H. King bookstore in the list. I discovered Shirley Jackson’s The Bird's Nest there a couple of years ago, among other nice finds.Some of it is a little out of date, as there is a lot of turnover among bookstores; Archer City in Texas is unfortunately no longer a book destination, which explains why I didn’t find out about it when looking for semi-local places to visit.But if you enjoy bookstores, you’ll enjoy this. The drawings are lovely, and it will undoubtedly give you ideas for places to visit in the future!
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  • Alan
    January 1, 1970
    This is a gem of a book for lovers of books and bookstores. New Yorker cartoonist Bob Eckstein provides paintings of 75 worldwide bookstores and anecdotes on each are provided by store-owners, clerks and/or customers. A few famous stores (e.g. Shakespeare and Company, Paris) get a 4-page write-up, but most are 2-pages. A several page overflow of anecdotes that didn't fit into the other pages are added at the backend.Trivia:- The book pages are unnumbered but the 176 page count includes the insid This is a gem of a book for lovers of books and bookstores. New Yorker cartoonist Bob Eckstein provides paintings of 75 worldwide bookstores and anecdotes on each are provided by store-owners, clerks and/or customers. A few famous stores (e.g. Shakespeare and Company, Paris) get a 4-page write-up, but most are 2-pages. A several page overflow of anecdotes that didn't fit into the other pages are added at the backend.Trivia:- The book pages are unnumbered but the 176 page count includes the inside front covers, i.e. the flippable pages number 174.- There is always one: Single typo found on pg. 66 "Steven Fry" written for Stephen Fry.
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  • Sara-Kay
    January 1, 1970
    What a delight. I want to rearrange all my travel plans to accommodate visits to these magical bookshops all over the world. The illustrations are gorgeous, and the anecdotes are both amusing and heartfelt. My only qualm is the lack of representation among Southern states. Very NYC-heavy, but the author lives there so I suppose that is to be expected. All bookstore lovers should read this book. And since you're spending your time reading reviews on Goodreads, I'm guessing that means you. Yeah, y What a delight. I want to rearrange all my travel plans to accommodate visits to these magical bookshops all over the world. The illustrations are gorgeous, and the anecdotes are both amusing and heartfelt. My only qualm is the lack of representation among Southern states. Very NYC-heavy, but the author lives there so I suppose that is to be expected. All bookstore lovers should read this book. And since you're spending your time reading reviews on Goodreads, I'm guessing that means you. Yeah, you. Go get it!
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