I first learned about the Strand Bookstore and its "18 miles of books" by way of its ads back in the Seventies when, living in Salt Lake City, my main connection to NYC was a subscription to The Village Voice. In 2004, when I began dating Deborah, often commuting to New York on the weekends, the Strand was the first bookstore she took me to. And when I interviewed Michael Seidenberg, Paul Nelson's close friend, back in 2006 when I began writing Everything Is an Afterthought, he told me this story about moving Paul into his apartment at 400 East Seventy-Fourth Street on the Upper East Side:
Moved him into the apartment that he lived in up until the end, which was a five-story walkup. We had to take tons of trips. All Paul’s books were in Strand bags. Hundreds and hundreds of Strand bags, filled with books. The kind of amount that you feel you’ll never be done.Several years before that, when Paul's son Mark came to visit him in 1985 and someone snapped a photo to commemorate the event, a Strand bag can be seen in the background:
It's fitting, then, that the first official event for Everything Is an Afterthought should be at--you guessed it--the Strand. On Wednesday, November 9, at 7 PM in the Rare Book Room on the third floor, Paul's old friend and SiriusXM Radio host Dave Marsh will be joining me on the Strand stage. You can read more about it by clicking here.
I hope you can join us.