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Who will buy the skinny house where Edna St. Vincent Millay, William Steig, and Margaret Mead lived?

Good news for the rich and thin! New York City’s narrowest home is 9 1/2 feet wide, and—of course—is on the market for just under five million dollars. On its own, this news wouldn’t be worthy of inclusion in our fine literary blog, but in addition to its unusual dimensions and eye-popping dimensions, the Greenwich Village townhouse has a storied literary history. Edna St. Vincent Millay lived in the house in the early 1920s, and William Steig and his wife lived there with his sister-in-law, Margaret Mead. Another children’s book author, Ann McGovern, not only lived in the house, but also wrote a picture book inspired by it—Mr. Skinner’s Skinny House—in which the titular character, along with his long dog and thin snake, search for a suitable roommate. Read more

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New York bookstore figures out the perfect sideline: pickles.

Even in boomtimes it is hard to keep a bookstore afloat: the margins are razor thin and you’re in constant competition for bookbuyers with the largest monopoly in the universe (Am*zon). This is why a lot of stores—particularly newer ones—build higher-margin sidelines into their business models… like, say… beer! (Alena Jones recently wrote for Lit Hub about what bookselling means in the context of selling everything but books.)

Well, I’m here to tell you about a bookstore in New York City that has boldly—zestily, even—gone with pickles as its main sideline. Sweet Pickle Books, conveniently located in the pickle Mecca of the Lower East Side, is your one-stop destination for used books, old cassette tapes(?), and two-pound jars of pickles. Read more