Shakespeare Books

2259 Broadway
(212) 570-0201

This medium-sized two floor bookstore serves a double role; half as an alternate fountain of intellectual nourishment for New York University students, and half as a fairly sophisticated source for alternative and controversial literature. You will find Dickens and a wide variety of cookbooks, but you will also often find four different translations of Maldoror and a shelf or two of feminist erotica.

A half a block north of Tower Records on Broadway, and only three blocks from the center of NYU, Washington Square Park, this bookstore is perhaps in the best location of all. Though its prices are hefty, this is mostly due to the fact that the alternative books it carries are more those which are slickly produced rather than hastily slapped together samizdats. The pricing for more conventional literature is not especially remarkable until one considers that the monumentally expensive NYU bookstore is only a block away— a student can concievably save a little money here.

Clubgoers will occasionally pass by its doors after closing time and see rows upon rows of intriguing books in the window display; books on transexual culture, body art, postmodernism, lesbian vampires, cult movies, freaks, esoteric topology and semiotics. What can you learn from all of this? Perhaps... that it's going to cost you $35 for the privilege of proving that you're a rarefied eccentric to your friends.

Commentary by Clifford Hartleigh Low, Thursday, August 6, 1998.