“An Oddly Modern Antiquarian Bookshop”

The Monkey’s Paw owner Stephen Fowler, with an atlas of Korea published in 1967.  Photo by Andrew Rowat

Article in New York Times by Jody Rosen, March 7, 2013:

“…The Monkey’s Paw specializes in oddities…printed matter that has fallen between history’s cracks and eluded even Google Books’ all-seeing eye. There are Victorian etiquette handbooks, antique sex manuals, obscure scientific treatises. There are forgotten 19th-century travelogues with sumptuous chromolithographs and leather-bound correspondence courses on fingerprinting. There are medical books (“Hewat’s Examination of the Urine”), how-to guides (“Safety in Police Pursuit Driving”) and historical studies: “Drug Adulteration: Detection and Control in 19th-Century Britain,” “The Water Closet: A New History,” “The Puppet Theatre in Czechoslovakia.” There are books whose accidentally poetic titles alone are worth the asking price: “Prospecting for Uranium,” “Magnetic Removal of Foreign Bodies,” “South Australia From Space.” A sign in the Monkey’s Paw window dryly sums up the inventory: “Old & Unusual.…”

   The result, packed into the store’s shelves, is a dizzying jumble of titles, genres, eras, ideas. Fowler arranges his displays to accentuate dissonance. An outdated work of political philosophy sits beside an edition of Sherlock Holmes written in Pitman shorthand and a trippy 1970s book about holograms. It’s a transfixing, bewildering mix. In 2013, it is also familiar. The book industry is under siege by digital technology, but the Monkey’s Paw has made peace with the Internet — has, in its dowdy analog way, replicated it.…”

Click here.

Thanks to Christie Pastalka

About Lloyd Kahn

Lloyd Kahn started building his own home in the early '60s and went on to publish books showing homeowners how they could build their own homes with their own hands. He got his start in publishing by working as the shelter editor of the Whole Earth Catalog with Stewart Brand in the late '60s. He has since authored six highly-graphic books on homemade building, all of which are interrelated. The books, "The Shelter Library Of Building Books," include Shelter, Shelter II (1978), Home Work (2004), Builders of the Pacific Coast (2008), Tiny Homes (2012), and Tiny Homes on the Move (2014). Lloyd operates from Northern California studio built of recycled lumber, set in the midst of a vegetable garden, and hooked into the world via five Mac computers. You can check out videos (one with over 450,000 views) on Lloyd by doing a search on YouTube:

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