Best Antiquarian Bookshop

Tall Stories

Tall Stories is like a new secret hide-out for the bookworms who as children would sneak away someplace to spend an afternoon reading. To get into the store, you have to press a buzzer on the ground floor, then walk up a couple of flights of stairs. There's not even much of a sign — just an open door with a few people, usually wearing thick glasses, slouching around inside. For years, near the entrance, the place had the coolest autographed photo of William Vollman aiming a pistol at his head with a nude woman lounging behind him. To us it said “Welcome.” Customers at Tall Stories browse through the different collections, ranging from science fiction to first editions, for hours, inching along the aisles in search of that book that makes them say, “Oh, I've got to have that.” Though stock turns over quickly, there are always treasures: maybe the galleys of Raymond Carver's Will You Please Be Quiet Please, or a first edition of Paul Auster's Moon Palace. Prices are steep, but if you're broke you can always sink into one of the big chairs and while away an afternoon.

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