Over the holiday, I found myself browsing books in the Lincoln Center Barnes & Noble. Nothing out of the ordinary, as I spend a good percentage of my time perusing the city's many bookstores. But this was different. The 60,000 square-foot store was closing, after 15 years in the neighborhood, and my boyfriend had suggested a farewell visit.
As a person who works in the publishing industry, and has experienced the massive layoffs first hand, seeing the nearly-bare shelves hit a little too close to home. Maybe bookstores are going the way of Virgin Records after all . . . I was feeling a bit sad, and sulked around the store for a while, before finally being seduced by a section of used books (the Lincoln Central B&N is one of the few to sell used books).
I spotted a few promising spines, and absentmindedly pulled and re-shelved various art and design books. Then, my boyfriend quietly handed me a red canvas covered book, and the clouds parted. It was a Donna Karan lookbook from 2000, featuring Milla Jovovich and Gary Oldman.
A few minutes after that, I found a Versace book from Spring/Summer 99 featuring models Malgosia Bela, Gisele Bundchen, Haylynn Cohen, Carmen Kass, and Frankie Rayder. Oh, and if that wasn't cool enough, it was shot by Steven Meisel— who is not only a legend, but also one of my favorite fashion photographers.
Despite my sadness over the closing bookstore, I couldn't help but smile over my two fashion book finds— for $12.50 each, thanks to a 1/2 Off sign! I also walked out of the store with a great, out-of-print art book on logos. As I lugged the newest additions to my library down Broadway, I was filled with satisfaction— the kind that an Amazon purchase just can't match.
(Photos of lookbooks © Littlehouse of Style)