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Where This Writer Finds Rare Books in Brooklyn

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New York City has more stores than anyone could physically tackle, but somehow we always keep returning to the usual suspects. To break out of the rut, we've asked some local shopping and fashion gurus to provide their hidden retail gems—those unique stores around our fantastic city that we might not all know about. Cue the Beatles: We're about to get a little help from our friends.


Image via Yelp

Eugenie Dalland was born and raised in Brooklyn, and she's the editor-in-chief of a new arts and culture magazine called Riot of Perfume that covers criticism, music, art, fashion, fiction, and photography. In her free time (when she's not reading early issues of Purple Magazine), she works as a freelance writer and styles for publications like Interview and OAKzine. Here, she shows us her favorite store where stacks and stacks of books line every open surface: The Community Bookstore in Cobble Hill.

When I lived in Carroll Gardens, I would walk home from work on Court Street and pass by this insane-looking bookstore with white columns that appeared to open only at night. Books and magazines and all sorts of printed content seemed to flood out of the front door, even when it was snowing. One day, while passing by, I picked up a copy of The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov that was propped up on the stoop and I just started reading it right there. I have since come to cherish this place.
Walking into The Community Bookstore is like walking into a cave whose walls are made of books crammed together, floor to ceiling, then layered over with more books. It's a bit like being on a movie set, albeit a fairly gritty one. The magazine that I edit, Riot of Perfume, covers a lot of new material, but we also republish old poetry and excerpts from novels and books–the more enigmatic or lesser-known, the better –so this place is perfect for discovering things you didn't know about. You can find new titles in addition to the sea of older ones, and everything is somehow always on sale. The last books I bought there were Frank O'Hara's Lunch Poems, an edited version of Virginia Woolf's diary, and Milan Kundera's Slowness.

· Riot of Perfume [Official Site]
· The Community Bookstore [Official Site]
· All Shopping Confidential Posts [Racked NY]

The Community Bookstore

212 Court Street Brooklyn NY