17 Eighth Avenue
Left Bank Books narrowly avoided adding its name to the ever-mounting casualty list of New York independent bookstores. After 18 years, the landlord of the tiny West Village shop it called home refused to renew its lease. As per the usual post-Kindle indie-bookstore plot line, that was almost the end. But in an unusual turn of fate, Left Bank was literally granted a new lease–a loyal customer pointed the owners to a vacant storefront just around the corner.
The bookstore inked a five-year lease at 17 Eighth Avenue, where it will reopen this week. With it will come stacks and stacks of rare and used books, including Norman Mailer’s personal copy of The Naked and the Dead. The book’s hefty price tag will come, too: $10,000. While that may seem exorbitant, consider the store’s long list of reasons why buying a first edition is a good investment. Besides impressing your friends and making yourself look smarter, it also cements your relationship with the author. Though whether that’s an endorsement of the $10,000 Naked and the Dead is another thing.