From More Intelligent Life, this interesting story takes a quick look at something I’ve always wondered about: What are some of the most popular books at those book stalls outside well-known New York bookstores?
Simon Akam writes: “Arriving in New York from Britain to study for a masterâ€™s, I spent a lot of time hanging around these stalls and soon saw the same titles cropping up time and time againâ€”in particular literary American fiction by writers like Hemingway, Fitzgerald and Steinbeck. And so last autumn I set out to discover the most common title on secondhand bookstalls in New York, as a way to gauge literary tastes and trends. I chose four areas where booksellers congregate: the stretch of Broadway at 112th and 113th streets on the Upper West Side near Columbia University, Bedford Avenue in the Williamsburg neighbourhood of Brooklyn, West 4th Street outside New York University, and Sixth Avenue around 8th Street. In each location I catalogued two stalls, listing their collections by author and title. After several weeks I had a tally of more than 3,000 books.”
Here is what he found: