© New York Books - Howard W Whitaker, 2016
Scottsboro, Alabama 35768 home products contact bees
New York Books

A Preface

New York Books is a bibliophile’s, quirky, used bookseller located in Scottsboro, Alabama.  Yes, that’s right. Scottsboro. Alabama. Before you get snotty, remember Truman Capote is from Alabama, as is Harper Lee, Rick Bragg, Fannie Flagg, W.O. Wilson, Walker Percy, Gail Godwin, Gay Talese, Richard North Patterson, W.E.B. Griffin, Robert Inman, Howell Raines, and a host of others. So was Zelda Fritzgerald, but that’s another discussion.     We love books. The real kind. Old books. Hardback books. The kind you can smell. Our books require neither battery nor power cord. They can be read at any time during an airline flight. Many fit in your pocket or purse, and do not require the purchase of additional covers or cases.  Our Everyman and Modern Library editions frequently come with integral marker ribbons that dependably hold your place. (We’ll even give you some of our renowned bookmarks!) You can easily loan your books, or give them as gifts. Your books will not mysteriously return to their maker when you update your digital appliance. While misfortune does strike, you will likely not overly grieve should you leave you book in a hotel room or rental car. And, really, how much more “green” can you get than a used book?     If you want Danielle Steele, go to a yard sale. If you want Tom Clancy, go to Wal-Mart. If you don’t want to be left behind, go to a Christian Bookstore. If you want “paranormal romance,” go bite someone.     But, if you would like to revisit the South of Eudora Welty or Erskine Caldwell, explore the world with Hemingway at his peak, run with characters from Dickens's London, watch the sun set over the yardarm with Somerset Maugham, or maybe enjoy your own First Edition Fannie Flagg: this is the place. We probably have your old copy of The House at Pooh Corner, as well.     We read. We know authors and characters. We can make recommendations. We can discuss Easy Rawlings and Arkady Renko. We can tell you who made John Irving want to write novels. We can tell you why Hitchcock loved the stories of Du Maurier. We can help you distinguish between Lao Tzu and Sun Tzu; between Invisible Man and The Invisible Man; between Thomas Wolfe and Tom Wolfe; between E.M. Forster and C.S. Forester.     In the shop, we still “hand sell” books. We also know how to pretend like we are ignoring you, so you can sit and browse unmolested.     If we don’t have what you are looking for, we can find it and often have it for you the next time you come in. After we get to know your taste, we’ll always be on the lookout for things you might like. (Hey, it’s fun. It is like shopping for a gift for a friend, except you are probably going to pay for it!) And it’s not like our customers have poor taste; if you don’t want it, good books rarely sit on our shelf very long.     Our major book classifications are classic literature, modern literature, “respectable fiction,” biography, history, cooking, and religion. We try to keep concentrations in Southern Literature and Southern History.     A good book is a work of literature; and a work of art.  Anybody can troll book sales with a scanner and flip books. (Our curmudgeonly buyer refuses to use a scanner—- says it’s in his head.) But a bibliophile bookseller knows books, loves books, preserves books, and helps find homes where a book can be appreciated.  We love bringing good books and good friends together.        -NYB .
Dangerous company  
Enter at your own risk “Books bend space and time. One reason the owners of those aforesaid little rambling, poky secondhand bookshops always seem slightly unearthly is that many of them really are, having strayed into this world after taking a wrong turning in their own bookshops in worlds where it is considered commendable business practice to wear carpet slippers all the time and open your shop only when you feel like it.”        “The truth is that even big collections of ordinary books distort space, as can readily be proved by anyone who has been around a really old- fashioned secondhand bookshop, one that looks as though they were designed by M. Escher on a bad day and has more stairways than storeys and those rows of shelves which end in little doors that are surely too small for a full-sized human to enter. The relevant equation is: Knowledge = power = energy = matter = mass; a good bookshop is just a genteel Black Hole that knows how to read.”  Sir Terry Pratchett Guards, Guards!  
A Southern Bookseller   We know our way around Uncle Bill’s Yoknapatawpha County.  Hell, we used to go out with a Snopes.  We understand Mz. Welty’s “sense of place” and we don’t think Mz. O’Connor’s characters are strange at all.  We have fished with Suttree, eaten with the Ricketts, and farmed with Jeeter.  We know that The Fugitive was not a TV show or a movie, and that Reconstruction does not refer to plastic surgery.  Our cookbooks skew curiously toward New Orleans.  Our Southern history and culture sections experience our highest turnover. After all, we were left in the lobby of The Peabody Hotel to quietly read our books while our mothers finished their shopping in downdown Memphis.  That was a long time ago.  
But, then, who’d think to look for you in a bookstore in Scottsboro, Alabama?