Literary Cleveland, in Pictures

Nick Basbanes recently took a trip to Cleveland, Ohio, for which he wrote a column in our current issue. He visited two of the city’s premiere booksellers, Paul L. Csank, owner of Peter Keisogloff Rare Books, Inc., and John T. Zubal, founder in 1961 of Zubal Books, while in town. Here’s what he saw. 

DSCN3456.jpgJohn T. Zubal, founder of Zubal Books, a sprawling operation on the west side of the city that specializes in used and antiquarian titles and occupies close to 200,000 square feet of space in several industrial buildings.


DSCN3437.jpgSome of the 14,000 wooden pear boxes used for shelving in Zubal Books.

DSCN3424.jpgNick writes, “While their business has moved decidedly to the Internet ... there remain some charming throwbacks to the good old days, most notably the vintage wooden fruit boxes that John Zubal bought by the hundreds to use as stacked shelving.”

DSCN3451.jpgA 100,000-square-foot building formerly used by Hostess bakeries to make Twinkies is now filled with secondhand books.

DSCN3463.jpgPaul Csank, owner of Peter Keisogloff Inc., with a recent arrival.

DSCN3460.jpgThis had just arrived at Peter Keisogloff Inc. during Nick’s visit: a fifteenth-century liturgical manuscript on vellum from Italy known as an antiphonary, a large folio bound spectacularly in contemporary brown morocco, with large brass bosses and hinges on the cover and spine.

 DSCN3473.jpgA very pretty binding -- from the stock at Peter Keisogloff, Inc.  “I am especially partial to the book beautiful,” Paul told Nick.

All photos © Nicholas A. Basbanes. Not be used without permission.

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