THE BOOKSELLERS (99 NR)
VIRTUAL CINEMAPOLIS SCREENINGS BEGIN 4/17
Presented in Collaboration with Buffalo Street Books
3 day rental available for $9.99
Proceeds of all rentals will be split between Cinemapolis and BSB
What is virtual cinema?
A behind-the-scenes look at the New York rare book world.
Director: D.W. Young
Stars: Parker Posey, Fran Lebowitz, Gay Talese
Buffalo Street Books is Ithaca and Tompkins County’s community-owned independent bookstore. Books, cards, calendars, and gifts are thoughtfully chosen to meet the needs of the Ithaca community.
There are readings, events, and book clubs happening in the bookstore several times each week. Authors from Mary Beth Keane to Viet Than Nguyen to Tamora Pierce are among the hundreds who have visited the store. They host a chapter of the Well-Read Black Girl Book Club and draw enthusiastic crowds to their monthly Drag Queen Story Hour.
During the COVID-19 shutdown, Buffalo Street Books is still working to meet the reading needs of our community. General Manager Lisa Swayze is holding down the fort and fulfilling online orders for shipment or curbside pickup through their new online store at www.buffalostreetbooks.com.
Help keep this indie bookstore alive and well so we can all hang out there again after the shutdown ends!
There’s a lot of tweed, a couple of pocket squares and an old-fashioned waxed mustache in “The Booksellers,” D.W. Young’s charming documentary about the book world — or more specifically the book-as-object world, with antiquarian booksellers trying to reinvent themselves and their industry in a digital era.
Anybody curious about the inner workings of unglamorous behemoths like Amazon or the ailing Barnes & Noble will have to look elsewhere. Young made the aesthetically wise choice to focus mainly on purveyors specializing in rare books or niche subjects. Some are inveterate collectors themselves. One bookseller gives a tour of his warehouse in New Jersey, where 300,000 volumes share space with taxidermied sea gulls and a masonic throne.
Two emotional currents run through the documentary. The gloomier one involves the older booksellers who have seen their business transform, especially with the advent of the internet and then, within the last 10 years, the proliferation of smartphones.
But the younger people in this film are not only hopeful but enthusiastic. (There’s a frustrating lack of identifying captions onscreen — a puzzling stylistic choice that’s also ironic, given all the anxiety about the printed word.) This new generation testifies that a long overdue diversification is beginning finally to take place. Women are getting more recognition in the industry, as are people of color. An archivist in hip-hop memorabilia collects copies of magazines like The Source and XXL.
And even some of the struggling booksellers are still elated by what they do. One of them, standing amid an inviting clutter, opens up a volume to reveal a lush, life-size centerfold illustration of a fish. “Playboy,” he says, “eat your heart out.”
-Jennifer Szalai, NY TIMES