I was in New York City a couple weeks ago giving a talk at New York University (a really dedicated student body they’ve got there, great fun). While in New York City I decided to check out Chartwell‘s, a store selling both new and used books. Though it may not be optimal in terms of book-buying, it’s certainly a place worth visiting for bibliophiles and history buffs. I was interested in the place because they run The Military Bookman, on whose mailing list I used to be, back in the troglodytic late 80s and early 90s.
Just walking down the street, you’d never know it was there. The store itself is actually inside the arcade of a swanky office building. It turns out to be a tiny little store. Unfortunately, almost all of their military books are in storage, in the basement, I believe they said. They can pull individual books up for you to inspect, if you request that, but most of their military book sales are done online.
The does have a small section of military books actually on display, another section of motor books and a rather more extensive collection of books about Britain. However, the real centerpiece of the store is its Churchill collection. This is a bookstore centered around Winston S. Churchill. If it was published by or about Churchill, you can find it here, not matter how obscure it is. In addition, the store sells written items that a direct relationship to the man himself. E.g. items he signed, etc. I’ve never been in such a place. Even for those whose interest in Churchill is only tangential–in my case, because he relates to military history I’m interested in–it is well worth a visit.
Mind you, nothing in this store is cheap. Expect the used books to be stiffly priced and the new books not to be discounted, nevertheless, stop by if you’re in Gotham. I bought a copy of the new From Eden to Armageddon: World War I in the Middle East.