When I was looking for new mysteries/dark fiction to read for the R.I.P. Challenge I stumbled across The Secret of Lost Things on a Flashlight Worthy List Literary Thrillers for the Book Lover. The synopsis explains the book is "a literary adventure that captures the excitement of discovering a long-lost manuscript by a towering American writer and an evocative portrait of life in a bookstore very reminiscent of the world-famous Strand." In the novel, the bookstore meant to represent The Strand is named "The Arcade".
So, The Stand is my all-time favorite bookstore and I knew had to immediately buy this book; fifty pages in and it is living up to it's potential. Here is a beautiful passage that uniquely captures the experience and abidance of The Strand.
Understand, The Arcade itself is a city; itself, an island. That bookstores are such places is always hoped for but The Arcade is like the original wish behind such hopes. The Arcade was population, mass, the accomplishment of a city. Books were stacked like teeming New Yorkers, invisible inside their buildings, but sensed as bees in a hive. The hum of life issuing from the crowds that filled the city I had begun to experience, but in The Arcade that buzzing life was made calculable in things. Chaps always told mother and me books were minds on the shelf. Here is seemed true, books didn't seem inanimate, a kind of life rose from the piles heaped on tables before me.