Booking It

You know those places in your life that just make you really happy? Well for me one of them is a bookstore in New York called Archivia Books. Located at 993 Lexington Avenue, this store is my shangri la, specializing in books on art, architecture, design, fashion … all those things that are aesthetically pleasing. When I lived in NYC, this store was in my neighborhood, and luckily for me, on my walk to work. Everyday I would slow down and look in the windows getting the scoop on the next fabulous design book that I had to have. Now that I am no longer living here, it is always one of my first stops whenever I come back. 
The bookstore itself just has a wonderful vibe, and the center table (shown above) is always overflowing with books. Most days, as I did yesterday, I can spend up to an hour just circling the table looking at all the featured titles. They are always playing great music, yesterday it was Annie Lennox, and the environment is really quite conducive to just perusing the shelves. 
My visit yesterday was particularly rewarding as I had a lovely interaction with some fellow customers, and discovered a whole slew of new books that I am just dying to purchase. Books are my drugs, I cannot stop buying them. I have absolutely nowhere to put them in my tiny apartment, and honestly could spend $50 dollars on sooo many other things, but I can never seem to say no to a book. Clothes I can put down, and books just seem to speak to me. 
First, Apartments by Mariette Himes Gomez. From the woman who brought us the fabulous Houses, I am so glad that she has come out with Apartments, for those of us who see ourselves as perpetual city dwellers. The photos are absolutely beautiful, and really capture the essence of luxury apartment living. Yeah, they’re not exactly photographing 12×14 studios, but a girl can dream. 
I just love the subtitle, Style in Sun Drenched Climates, yes please! The photos in this book are amazing. All the key players are featured: Jackie, Elizabeth, Grace … and there is a whole chapter on Stripes. Long Island, St. Tropez, Caribbean … its all there. All in amazing one piece bathing suits and printed caftans–perfection. 
In a similar vein is Dream Palaces of Hollywood’s Golden Age. Maybe its my recent obsession with Hollywood Regency or just my love of old movies, but this book had some amazing houses in it that just remind you of Sunset Boulevard–I’m ready for my close up! 
Finally, I had my first opportunity to flip through American Modern, and let me tell you, it is as good as the cover makes it seem. O’Brien’s ability to mix the old with the new is exactly what a preservationist like me loves to see. He has really captured those things which I believe to be truly American in our interior design canon and expanded upon them–and the pictures are fabulous. 

So next time you are in New York, be sure to check out Archivia Books on Lexington Avenue, because you will not be disappointed. 

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  • Fabulous picks, I would love to spend more time perusing my favorite bookstore! I find any spare moments painting my art and in the blogosphere! 🙂

    Art by Karena

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  • Thanks for the tip. Nothing better – and sadly – rarer than a good bookstore. Dutton’s in Brentwood CA which for me that was a key destination is gone now as is the Mysterious Bookshop on West 55 in NY. Current favs are Posman’s in Grand Central Station and the NY Mercantile Library on 47th Street.