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Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Dr. Alice Dailey's Renaissance Revenge Tragedy Class Visits New York City: Stephen Purcell on the Argosy Book Store

Dr. Dailey's Renaissance Revenge Tragedy class also visited the Argosy Book Store during its visit to New York City.  Stephen Purcell's account of the bookstore follows.

The Argosy Book Store is New York’s oldest independent bookstore, and quite possibly its most awe-inspiring. Outside, an eclectic assortment of books cover a table and three walls of shelves. Countless suspense novels, travel guides, history books, magazines, and literary journals surround customers as they find their way inside. Past the oak entrance stand tall rows of bookshelves, covered in a multitude of luxuriously-bound texts. Glass display cases protect the rarest of the Argosy’s collection, but the majority of the books invite perusal. The selection includes everything from Plutarch’s Lives to treatises on gardening, from unliftably-heavy Bibles to slim children’s books. Piles, stacks, and boxes of books await sorting and shelving, giving the bookshop a pleasant tinge of chaos. Between the walls stand tables that support innumerable prints from various eras. Portraits of serious men in baroque wigs commingle with caricatures from 19th century French satirical magazines. More exotic and expensive prints are kept safe in a display on the wall. The abundance of words, images, and ideas are mesmerizing, and make the Argosy Book Store one of New York’s most intriguing places.

Students from Dr. Dailey's class, Taylor DeLaPena and Stephen Purcell, in the Argosy Bookshop