Books Are Magic

In a NYT story about authors who own bookstores (Summer Reading Recommendations, From 6 Novelists Who Own Bookstores) in a side note Alexandra Alter noted that Emma Straub’s staff recommendations at her new store Books Are Magic include Magic for Beginners:

On a sunny afternoon in late April, the day before the opening of Books Are Magic in Cobble Hill, Brooklyn, the novelist Emma Straub was apologetically shooing away potential customers.

A woman with a dog poked her head in the door, which was still being painted, to say that “there has never been more buzz” about a store opening in the neighborhood. Ms. Straub, an owner of the bookstore, told her the place was dog-friendly and invited her to come back when it opened.

The space, a former clothing boutique on Smith Street, still smelled like fresh paint and sawdust. By the register were shelves full of new fiction and nonfiction and a bookcase dedicated to eclectic titles published by The New York Review of Books. Nearby, the fiction section held a mix of contemporary works and classics, including two editions of “Middlemarch,” Ms. Straub’s favorite novel.

Staff picks sat on the opposite wall — Ms. Straub, 37, had recommended “Magic for Beginners,” a collection of short stories by Kelly Link. Down a few stairs, a separate bright, airy room with exposed brick walls, wooden rafters and a skylight was filled almost entirely with children’s books. . . . Read on