While I missed its opening, fortuitously scheduled for April 30, also know as Indie Bookstore Day, because I was in Chicago or somewhere like that, I did eventually make my way over to East City Bookshop last Sunday.
It’s a little funky to get to, though it’s very near Eastern Market, and my first impression was a little off putting, it bears further exploration.
I was off put (or put off) because the first floor is small, with not many books. There were many shelves of books placed cover out, instead of spine out, which screams (to me), we have a small and poor selection!
Luckily, there were some stairs to a much larger downstairs which had a very nice and large children’s section and a well curated fiction and poetry section. The poetry section was not large, but I found Ocean Vuong’s much talked about debut (which I eventually bought), and Last Words from Montmartre by the late Taiwanese writer Qiu Miaojin (published by the awesomely reliable folks at NYRB; they had a number of books from that imprint and it’s a sure sign of quality).
While I didn’t partake, there was a big comfy couch and what looked like a play area for artsy activities for kids, though there also seemed to be a lot of wasted space.
In the end, it’s super close to an area where I spend a lot of time and someone clearly spent some time and attention to selection, even if there are some (to my mind) missteps in organization.