I have real trouble passing a good bookstore. Days like yesterday are why.
I didn’t start out the day intending to visit the Battery Park Book Exchange and Champagne Bar, and certainly didn’t want to get champagne there. But Esta and I were parked nearby and it seemed a shame not to go in.
I only made one full circuit of the store, but during that circuit I found first editions of the following:
- Ray Bradbury’s Toynbee Convector (1988), which he published when I was in high school but which I’ve never read
- Porte Crayon‘s The Old South Illustrated (1959), the first major collection of his published works, including Virginia Illustrated and first appearance of the “typical 1850s UVA student” drawing that the Virginia Glee Club has used for years
- And Countee Cullen‘s Copper Sun (1927), pictured above, his third published book.
The Cullen is a beautiful work, illustrated in an art deco inspired style by the unrelated Charles Cullen, and featuring some of Countee Cullen’s most shattering poems, including “Threnody for a Brown Girl.” A Google search shows that first editions can go for north of $300; I got very lucky to find it for less than a tenth of that.