Six weeks ago I inherited management of the Bank Street Bookstore from my esteemed colleague Beth Puffer. During her decades of service, Beth placed millions of children’s books into the hands of young readers, and myriad professional books into the hands of teachers. Meanwhile, since 1985, I had been selling books at my own stores: The Children’s Bookstore and Chicago Children’s Museum Store in Chicago, and The Eric Carle Museum Bookstore in Amherst. When the chance came for me to step into Beth’s shoes, I was excited and nervous. The bookstore she had developed for Bank Street College was famous worldwide. Could I rise to the challenge?
A challenge it certainly is. This place is busy and its operations are complex. Over the last few weeks alone, we have:
Shipped $500 worth of professional education books to a teacher in Copenhagen, and $500 worth to another teacher in Istanbul. Both had selected their books while passing through New York, and for both the visit to Bank Street Bookstore was a long-anticipated event.
Supplied 60 boxes of books to Ethical Culture School for their Spring book fair.
Hosted six first-time authors in a joint publicity event.
Held a book signing with Stephen Colbert for his not-quite-children’s-book, I Am A Pole (And So Can You!).
Built a custom online gift registry to enable anyone to become a donor of LGBT books to New York Public Schools; we’re performing this book-supply service as underpinning for the New York City Council LGBT Educational Book Drive.
Meanwhile, all day long parents and children throng