Report from Elliott Bay

elliot bay

Elliott Bay Book Shop. August 22, 2011.

Today on my iPhone, up popped a text message from friend Jocelyn Arem who is on vacation with her partner Kate Kyle in Seattle.  They were visiting the great Elliott Bay Book Shop and found the JLP book displayed like the picture above.  Jocelyn and Kate are so kind I wouldn’t be surprised if the Elliott Bay security cameras caught them rearranging the shelves to make the JLP book face out.

But the story gets better.  Recently I’ve been in search of Junichiro Tanizaki’s book, “In Praise of Shadows,” which Roland Kelts suggested to help me understand Gene Smith’s identification with Japan.  (“In Praise of Shadows” wouldn’t be a bad title for my next book on Smith).  It’s an obscure book, out of print, and I’ve struggled to find it locally. But Elliott Bay had it for $9.95 and Jocelyn and Kate picked it up for me.

Fifteen years ago, there’s no way that friends would pick up a book for me (or anybody) on the spur of the moment 3000 miles away.  The digital world is awesome sometimes.

(By the way, Jocelyn is directing a major documentary project of her own).

-S.S.

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