Simple Pleasures

In our completely technology driven world, sometimes it’s so refreshing, and necessary, to just disconnect. Maybe I’m old school, but I still hold my print magazines dear to my heart and will not trade the feeling of thumbing through a paperback for a nook anytime soon. As much I’m a devoted recycler, I’m also a through and through paper lover, and one of the greatest appeals of this city is the countless used and new bookstores and specialty magazine shops scattered across the island.

I even remember thinking at one point when I noticed the abundance of sidewalk carts stacked with books, “Wow, people really read here. This must be my city.” So it should also not be all that surprising that when I choose to escape into a good book, I often like to read tales about the city that I decided to make my home. I find it fascinating to think of New York at various points in its long history, to think of the many reincarnations it has made, the remnants of which create the patchwork I’m so fond of. There are so many stories here, so many legacies. All the best and worst of New York can be found in these bestsellers, but mostly you’ll find a sense of nostalgia, inspiration, grit, tragedy, vibrancy, and always a hint of humor. These may not be classified as beach reading, but with a great cup of coffee and some quiet time, there’s no questioning that they might provide the same amount of comfort and serenity.

Manhattan Transfer by John Dos Passos; North River by Pete Hamill; Let the Great World Spin by Colum McCann; A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith; and The Brooklyn Follies by Paul Auster.

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