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Monday
Jan092012

Park Slope Is Full of Literary Sluts 

Breastfeeding for Dummies was the book that caught my eye. It wasn’t the title or subject matter, though.  It was the girth. 360 pages of instruction; a Dan Brown novel of nipple code navigation. And it was leaning on an Iron fence along 8th Ave. 

I like grabbing stuff to read as I walk around Park Slope, particularly for skimming over lunch. Breastfeeding For Dummies was perhaps a bit too big to snag and carry onto my next destination.  And being a single guy with no bun in any oven, it would also be creepy. I skipped it, but for someone out there in need of advice on every possible milking scenario, this was probably the “find of the year.”

This is one of the really cool attributes of Park Slope. We’re slutty when it comes to literature. We give it away, freely, to strangers, on every corner, street and Ave. There’s a certain generosity when it comes to bounded commodities that can’t be found when it comes to anything else in the Slope.  The nation’s Red Light District for free books.  But why?

It might be the high percentage of word-industry residents (see: Amy Sohn, John Hodgman, Jonathan Safran Foer and a billion others). It might be our green, re-use mantra. The physical landscape might also help, where a mixture of stoops, steps, little walls and small fences allow for product to be perched and browsed without inviting trespassing. Maybe it’s a perfect storm of all these factors.

All I know is this… by merely walking about Park Slope, you can build a small library of textbooks and cookbooks, bios and novels, business advice or self help guides.  But in keeping with the un-named karma of the subculture, you shouldn’t bank the books on shelves to collect dust. It seems preferable to read what you have and then put them out for stud.  Even the Breeders pay forward the kid-lit their tykes have outgrown.

This lifestyle may not be exactly ideal for B&N or Amazon, but Park Slope seems to be the Napster of literature.

What gems have you scored?

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