Category Archives: Bookstore Life

Classics News Update

It was announced at Classics open mic that one of the singers that sang in January was called back for The Voice.  You heard him at Classics first!

The Classics Scrabble club (notably Tim Walker) has mounted bookcases in wheels so we can easily move it for Scrabble and for the Open Mic.  Come down and check this out!

FaceBook did a video of Classics activity.  Check this out!  https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.1466588953562237.1073741852.1424087047812428&type=3&uploaded=1#!/photo.php?v=10151816520737434&set=vb.660327433&type=2&theater

Friends of Classics Bruce Bentzman and Roger Long have distributed their children’s book.  Read it for free here!  http://www.simmers1.webspace.virginmedia.com/204nf.html

ScrabbleKallah


The Unknown Poet and Hafeez Da Poet

The Unknown Poet and Hafeez Da Poet from the Capital Area Open Mic in Trenton, NJ at Classics Books & Gifts

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S5vSIhQXQMA&feature=youtube_gdata_player


Classics News

In case you haven’t been able to make it in the Classics lately, here’s what you may have missed.

16 of the best Scrabble players in the area met at the 14th Annual Classics Scrabble Invitational.  Megan Iurilli reclaimed her crown as Grand Champion, Sarah Ohls came inches of winning her third Championship and Arthur Iurilli went from being a seat filler to coming in third.

Classics Open Mic comedian McKelle Kellz Barksdale went to Florida and won the 2014 Winter Shine Overall Standup Comedian. Says Kellz “I started in a bookstore with 13 people. If that isn’t a Testament to following what God puts on your heart I don’t know what is!!!”  Guess what bookstore he was talking about?

Classics Open Mic musician Quincy Stallworth video performing one Saturday.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QNqbtWkjzaw&feature=youtube_gdata_player

Shoppers at Target had hackers steal data from up to 40 million credit and debit cards during the first three weeks of the holiday season.  Shoppers at Classics Books & Gifts had no data stolen.  Shop local!

Megan Iurilli


Sleepy Mad Mad

My current favorite inscription in a book at Classics Books & Gifts.

Scrawled inside If You Give a Mouse a Cookie,

“Mama mama sick in bed.  She really a sleepy mad mad.  PS I love mom, love Katie.”


Bookstore People: Muralists and Doodlers

Will Kasso

If you have driven through Trenton and seen a mind-blowing portrait painted on a wall, you have already met Will Kasso.  Painter, portraitist, graffiti artist, Kasso is a national presence in our small town.  Curator at Gallery 219 on Hannover Street and founder of the Sage Coalition (which supports public art festivals and street beautification projects).

When you catch him at Classics, he is usually hunting for books with his daughter in the kids section

 Kasso

“My daughter curated her first artshow opening at the “Kids Bridge Arts Camp”…she just texted me saying: “Dad, the artshow is tonight…wear something nice without paint all over it”…lol”

Roger Long

Roger is a retired art teacher, a habitual doodler and a transplanted Californian.  Good natured and easy going, Roger always lends the room an atmosphere of fun.

When you catch him at Classics, he will be hunched over a Scrabble board on Friday nights.

 Long

“Jefferson made the New Testament readable by cutting out all the nonsense, making it readable and worth reading.”


Trenton Literature Year in Review: 2013

Pulitzer Prize winning Trentonian Poet Yusef Komunyakaa published Testimony, a collection poetry inspired by Charlie Parker

Trenton Poet Laureate Doc Long had reminiscences published in Volunteers in the African Bush, a collection of essays about the early years of the Peace Corp in Africa

Capital City Open Mic celebrated its one year anniversary in April

The New Jim Crow Committee of Trenton met and discussed Michelle Alexander’s book and mapped out ways to put responses to the book in action.

The Trenton Books at Home Program handed out thousands of books for Trenton kids.

Trenton author and radio host Yolanda Landy Robinson published Don’t Be Bitter Be Better, a book of inspirations.

Trenton author Natasha Buckalious Parker published her poetella, Ah Hood Romance

Trenton author Will Foskey published Poeticine

In November, Trenton author Marie Murf Antionette, author of The Struggle and A Girl Named Job, was bookseller for a day at Classics.

In February, Barbara Keogh became the reigning Classics Scrabble champion.

volunteers sierra leone


Book Store Manifesto

This is a book-shop

Cross-roads of civilization
Refuge of all the arts against the ravages of time
Armory of fearless truth and unrelenting beauty against the craven forces of ignorance and pettiness and ugliness of the soul.

From this place words become real
not insubstantial digital ephemera but solid crafted artifacts
not drowned in the constant torrent of status updates and tweets, but fixed in time.

In this place you are a community made manifest–a community of friends, thinkers, lovers, citizens and appreciators of beauty.

Friend, you stand on sacred ground.

This is a book-shop.

 


Bibliophile or Bibliomane?

Which are you?

  • Bibliobibule (reads too much)
  • Bibliolater (worships books)
  • Bibliomane (passionately collects books)
  • Bibliophile (loves books)
  • Bibliosoph (knowledgable about books)
  • Bibliotaph (hides or hoards books)

 


Love Letters to Jersey 1932

I enjoy finding interesting things tucked into books that come into Classics.  I’ve found money, four-leaf clovers and personal checks written by witches.

My favorite, though, was found in a book of poetry in written by Richard Nixon (not THAT Richard Nixon, the other one).  There was a bunch of ephemera in it and as I went through it a story of lost love emerged.

First, I find, tucked between pages 22 and 23, a postcard that had written on it

“My Christmas thought/ Could not be bought.  /I searched the city through.  A sorry guest, / For the very best / Were none to good for you.  Richard.  Paris 1932.”

Second, later in the book, I find a typewritten letter, written from Paris on New Year’s Day addressed

Dearest Clarice.

You complain that I never open my heart.  Let us take the fanciful case of a man who after many years finds his soul face to face with a woman he once loved,–a woman presumably in love with a perfectly good husband to whom she reads her letters.  Such a man might well hesitate to unlock his heart, tho he might paraphrased Browning a little and say, Open my heart and you will see /  Graven upon it only Thee.  So it ever was, so shall it ever be.

“No, I didn’t stay on in Jersey beyond the merrie month of May, having finally been driven out of that terrestrial paradise by the Demon of Loneliness.

I was cheered by your news that this has been a successful year for Melvin and I hope that good humor in which you are ending it will extend far enough into the new one to stimulate you to write me again and soon.  Stella Farwell write me from New Orleans that you had been there twice since last spring, looking younger and handsomer than ever.  No wonder you are in such good humor, with a good husband who has had a successful year and with Time treating you like a spoiled child.

Later in the book, there is a Christmas card from Richard “with much love.”

Finally, there is a wedding invitation

“Mr. Richard Nixon has the honor to announce his marriage to Madame A Lelu in Paris on September Twenty-sixth, 1940.”


Things You Should Do in a Bookstore

My friend sent me a list of things a bookseller posted of things NOT to do in a bookstore—don’t bring active kids, don’t bring in food, if you’re in a hurry don’t be mean to us, don’t talk on  cell phone.  What a whiner.

That’s not to say Classics Bookstore encourages food fights or rudeness, but please.  If you have to take a call, take a call.  If you are in a hurry, we will try and help.  If you are hungry, I have menus for the Hummingbird Jamaican restaurant, Big Easy restaurant and we convinced Settimo Cielo to deliver to the mystery aisle.  Just clean up after yourself and we’re good.

So rather than list all the things you SHOULDN’T do in a used bookstore, here’s a list of what you SHOULD do.

Ask us if you can’t find something.  Don’t be shy.  Looking for your favorite genre, your favorite author, a recommendation for something to read ?  We can help.

Read books to your kids while you are here.  We love to hear parents reading to kids in the back.  This is not a library where you are going to be hushed.

It’s okay to talk about your Kindle.  The books at Classics have a good self esteem!  They aren’t threatened by eBooks any more than stairs are threatened by escalators.

Tell us about the books that you love.  People who shop in bookstores (especially used bookstores) are the best people in the world.  They are smart, they are good people, and passionate about what they love.  Of course we want to hear about the book you are reading–why do you think we work in a bookstore?

Have Fun.  Because, really, if you aren’t having fun at least once in a while, you are not doing something right.

Want a place be surrounded by books?  To talk to the best people in New Jersey?  To catch a game of Scrabble or Uno?  To hang out with old friends?  To meet new ones?  To help build a downtown?  To help get free books into the hands of local kids?  To join a community of excellent people?  Come to Classics Books in downtown Trenton.

There are lots of things you SHOULD be encouraged to do.

 

Uno