The New York Times Magazine carried a report by Mimi Vu on 7 December about the opening of One Grand, a “curated bookstore” in Narrowsburg, New York. I’m not sure I’m going to make the trek up the Delaware: I don’t know if you’d have to, but the implication that if you’re serious you’ll buy all the ten books in the collection you chose would make me nervous. Actually, as their website makes clear, you don’t of course have to buy the lot (and you don’t even have to go there)! Narrowsburg is situated in the Upper Delaware Scenic and Recreational area, so it might make a good target for an out-of-town trip. I do think that a list of 10 titles selected by someone whose name people will recognize is a good way of promoting books. In a way it’s no more than your normal front-of-store-table display; just in this case you’ll recognize the name of the person making the selections.

As the article says several writers have shared their ten-books-to-take-to-a-desert-island lists on-line, at the Times Magazine. It certainly makes more sense to take books to a desert island than the original discs. Though of course back when the radio program Desert Island Discs started, gramophones were wind-up things which could have been expected to go on and on (as long as you had strength in your arm) in the absence of a power source. It looks as if “My 10 favorite books” is an ongoing series, so we can look forward to more lists from more celebrities. O frabjous day! Callooh! Callay!

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