Name: Bonnie Slotnicks Cookbooks
Location: 28 East 2nd Street, New York, NY
Description: Walking along 2nd Avenue, you might notices a small sign that says “cookbooks” hanging just above a long staircase at the bottom of which sits a quiet red door. Upon crossing the threshold, you are greeted with the delightful smell of old books and the pleasing sounds of opera music. If you didn’t know that you were walking into a bookstore, you might think that you had just walked into someone’s 1950’s styled kitchen. Countertops with old kitchen wares sit throughout the room, and cooking utensils hang from the bookcase-lined walls. In the far corner of the store, a kitchen table and some chairs sit piled with books, waiting to be cleared off when company comes for dinner.
What I liked: This store was amazing. Run by Bonnie Slotnick herself, the store feels more like walking into someone’s home than a place of business. She greets every customer and talks to them as though they were her houseguests. The store is also dog friendly and she keeps a small container of treats for her customer’s canine companions. Most of her books are “out-of-print & antiquarian,” which means that her selection of cookbooks is incredibly varied and definitely unique in the best possible way. In browsing the shelves, I even noticed books in Japanese and French. She also has a small selection of rare cookbooks from the 1800s, and for those who are interested in the style, she has a few facsimiles of cookbooks from the 1800s as well. Overall it seemed that she has something for everyone who came in. No question went unanswered and she seemed to know a great deal about most of the books in the store.
How they are combatting the pressures of the digital age: As with many of the independently owned bookstores I have visited, Bonnie Slotnicks Cookbooks is engrained in the community. Her sale counter has a list and a map of all of the independent bookstores in the area and Ms. Slotnick whole-heartedly points you in the direction of other local bookstores you might enjoy. Her website is also well designed and laid out in a format reminiscent of an old newspaper. While she doesn’t sell books online, she uses her blog to promote some of the stores newest items, and she encourages customers to call or email her with questions. The store’s Facebook is used to promote special events. Overall, however, it seems that Bonnie Slotnick’s Cookbooks has survived well without making a complete conversion to the digital era.
Quoted material from: http://www.bonnieslotnickcookbooks.com/index.html