Living in a bookstore


Richard Kostelanetz (also known simply as “Kosti”) is a writer, artist, critic, and editor of the avant-garde. He has degrees from Brown University, Columbia University, and he attended King’s College, London. He served as visiting professor or guest artist at a variety of institutions and lectured widely. But those attributes are not the most interesting aspect of the 77-year-old New York native’s story. His living quarters garner the most attention, as the author lives in a warehouse surrounded by 25,000 books

On the last Sunday of each month, Kostelanetz turns the warehouse into a bookstore by posting a reminder on Facebook and tacking up a paper sign that says “Kosti’s Last Sunday Bookstore” on the entrance. The shop holds but a tiny fraction of the roughly 25,000 books in the entire building, which resembles a warehouse but is organized like a bookstore with shelves and sections.

“I keep buying books, much more than I should, because I think I should have them,” he told The New York Times. Kostelanetz is definitely avant garde in his writing.  For example, his 1971 book “In the Beginning” is filled with the alphabet in single- and double-letter combinations. His 1978 book “Tabula Rasa” consists of 1,000 blank pages. “The two values most important to me as a writer are audacity and comedy,” he says. 

Some of the books in his collection are works that he has published and periodicals that have featured his writing. Much of 7,000 square foot warehouse in Brooklyn is stacked floor-to-ceiling with books. Kostelanetz did leave room for his other passion: swimming. He has an infinity pool that he swims in most evenings before he goes to bed. 

Post a comment

Seen anything interesting? Let us know & we'll share it!