Greenwich Village Wandering: Three Lives Bookstore

Photograph by poet Bob Holman

Mark and I used to frequently go into area bookstores when we lived in Cambridge, MA. Our two favorites were the Harvard Book Store, also in Cambridge, and Trident Booksellers and Cafe across the river on Newbury Street in Boston, MA. To give you an idea, the cities of Cambridge and Boston combined comprises almost the same square mileage as the borough of Brooklyn. We could walk and/or easily take public transportation between these and other cities.

Since we moved to my Long Island, NY hometown in September 2013, we have not been able to wander into any local bookstores to browse and buy books because there are none. Western Nassau County is only good for raising a family and sending them to school. Funk and art and cool are nowhere nearby. You have to travel by car, bus, or rail to find the cool spots.

After my writing critique group yesterday, I met up with my husband Mark near Christopher Square on our way to find a place to eat. From Christopher Street, we walked along Waverly Place. We happened upon Three Lives & Co. Books on the intersecting corner with West 10th Street.  The wide open doors beckoned, and so in we went.

The ten light, French doors to the quaint bookstore cut across the corner at an angle. The red of the doors is a stark contrast to the matte black exterior and the gold lettering of the name across the top on both sides. In the display windows and the walls inside were floor to ceiling books. We wandered around separately, meeting up occasionally to share the excitement of books that we came across.

Having made our purchase, we stepped outside and continued on our way. A joyful peace pervaded my spirit. Buying a book on Amazon will never be able to create this experience: the joy of touching and reading book covers, the excitement of exploring and of being exposed to new ideas, and the fervent looking forward of adding the next well-loved book to one’s collection.

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