Saturday, May 8, 2010

Mast: a new used bookstore in NYC



The third year anniversary of 5B4 passed last month without me even noticing until now. I haven't been posting much lately, partly because I am finding it harder to sit down to write, partly because I am about to leave for Europe for 5 weeks (get ready for complete silence...maybe), but mostly because I spent every day of last month helping my friend Bryan and his wife James build a bookstore. Yes, a fucking used book store...where you buy, you know, used books.

The store is called Mast and it is on Avenue A between 4th and 5th streets in Manhattan. Today was the opening and the crowds braved the blustery winds and filled the store for over ten hours. The first sale of the day just five minutes after he opened was Brion Gysin and William Burroughs's The Third Mind. My purchase was a copy of The World from Here: Treasures of the Great Libraries of Los Angeles. Of course, a book about books.

Mast is a decent sized but smallish space so the stock has to be a bit curated. If you're into really good 20th century art, photography, philosophy, film or literature, you'll want to stop by. His prices are well below retail and it is a place where you may come in looking for photobooks but leave with a bag full of killer academic film books (the cinema book section is the best you will find in the city. Hands down). So check out this new spot. Buy a book. They make you smarter.

16 comments:

Anonymous said...

We always need more used bookstores. I buy almost all of my photo books from them. You just never know what you're going to find. Kudos.

Sean Davey said...

Whats Up Jeff! Sick shelves. Did you build em? Enjoy Europe.

Christian said...

Looks great. Congratulations to Bryan and James. I'll definitely be checking this place out as soon as I'm back home in the city.

Mr. Whiskets said...

Sean,

We had the wood cut down by a friend who has a woodworking shop and I assembled each cabinet. We designed them to be 2 by 4 foot cubes of shelving that we then screw together and secure to the walls. That way, if they want to rearrange the store, they could swap out certain units for others. While we were putting it all up we had about a dozen people inquiring about us building shelves for them. Since I make little money in photo I am considering a switch to carpentry.

Tad Fancy said...

What are the hours and a contact number for the store? Specifically, what are the hours for today?!?!

Mr. Whiskets said...

For now I think it is everyday from 12 to 10pm. Phone number I am not sure of, I'll ask and post it.

Cary said...

Nice to bump into you at Mast last night. Just noticed EV Grieve has a post and a picture of you. http://bit.ly/dxflKD I look forward to stopping by for some serious perusing.

Mr. Whiskets said...

The phone number for Mast is (646) 370-1114

Sean said...

Yeah, probably make more money and hell, probably more enjoyable than doing commissioned photography. Whats next? 5b4shelves.com. . .

Vincent Borrelli said...

If you are on the "other" coast, my friend Patrick Paeper just last week opened up a great used bookstore in L.A. Alias Books East is a general used bookstore with an emphasis on film, literature, art and photoraphy. It is at 3163 Glendale Blvd.

After a year of carefully selecting the best books from countless sources, Patrick opened just last week with close to 10,000 titles.

Patrick knows photography books very well and has a terrific stock, including a fine rare and contemporary photography book section. I would recommend checking his store out soon before the best books are gone... although this is just the start, and I expect Alias Books East will be one of the best used fine art and literature book destinations for years to come in the L.A. area.

patrick said...

Thanks for the plug Vincent! Great to hear that others care enough to put a used bookstore on the map. It goes without saying that it's a dying trade. If you're out in L.A come by and visit.

http://www.facebook.com/pages/Los-Angeles-CA/Alias-Books-East/112077312164726?v=photos#!/photo.php?pid=80809&id=112077312164726

One Way Street said...

glad to hear about this - I am olde enough to remember the East Village having very interesting used bookstores, which have long gone. The last Diane Arbus show at the Met had her library on display, which was almost a copy of the olde stores of times past in the olde neighborhood. Regarding Arbus no one has brought up her typicality rather than her cultural uniqueness - but that' another story. THANKS!

Anonymous said...

What the fuck? Does building a bookstore help you to blog like a fucking sailor?

Mr. Whiskets said...

It is manly work.

Rugged AND Square-Jawed, too....It's Tad Fancy and He said...

I knew you were butch before you started assembling bookcases, Jeff. Please just promise me you won't throw away your Irish Spring for Axe Body Wash....That would be too much...

verninino said...

I bought four fucking books including Szarkowski's Irving Penn and Eggleston's 5x7.

I'm soon moving to a much bigger apartment, so there's plenty of room for more classic tomes.