MARSHALL BROOKS

Shakespeare & Co. closing (Upper West Side Branch), W. 81st & Broadway, NYC, 1996. Photo by Marshall Brooks.

"... one-of-a-kind endeavor, the ultimate labor of bibliomaniacal affection, the quintessential offbeat book about offbeat books ... PAPERBACK ISLAND is but the latest in a long line of Marshall arts, to include ROMANCE OF THE BOOK, A BRIEF ILLUSTRATED HISTORY OF THE BOOKSHELF and EIGHT SHORT SHORT STORIES & SKETCHES, by James T. Farrell, the major American writer (1904-1979) whom Brooks befriended late in life and for whom he conducted research.

"'Jim never stopped thrilling to the world,' Brooks records of the colorful creator of the epic Studs Lonigan trilogy, and the same may be said of himself.

"As a kid in Boston and later in New York, Brooks alternated the attraction of urban alleys with the enchantment of aisles of bookshelved to the ceilings in sidewalk shops, so much more plentiful then. Marveling amid the piled paperbacks, this Natty Bumpo of the stacks met like-mindedly mad enthusiasts of the imagination. Like Tuli Kupferberg (1923-2010), poet, small press publisher and co-founder of The Fugs.

"'With deep, native erudition," Brooks recalls, 'Tuli demonstrated the obviousness of things by inverting them ... He joked that when he heard the word "gun" he reached for his culture.'

"As publishers became less eccentric and more unimaginatively mainstream, some of the fun and a lot of the enterprise went out of our books, and indeed our literature; still, the author allows that in the necessary management of manuscripts, some assembly is required.

"'Were publishers to become utterly extinct, where else would we turn for civilization's bounty that is the profession's own, at its best?"

"Brooks dearly loves books; but his own demonstrates that he loves the mad, driven, multifarious folk who make them even more."

—Bill Ruehlmann, Norfolk VIRGINIAN-PILOT

Paperback Island



PAPERBACK ISLAND . . .

Ltd. First Edition Pressing of 150 copies.
—192 pp., illus. with over 45 b&w and color photos
—8 x 5.5"
—$20, paper ISBN-13 978-0-933292-31-4
—$35, hard ISBN-13 978-0-933292-32-1
—book design by the author

"If I cannot at least imagine what a book may look like in hand, I very likely would not be able to write it." — M.B.


To Order, Kindly Mail a Check or Money Order (postage paid) to:

ARTS END BOOKS
POB 441
W. Dover, VT 05356 USA

Or ORDER from ISAIAH THOMAS BOOKS . . .

Random House Backyard on a Fine Summer's Day — a Street Bibliographer's Privileged view. (With apologies to Rockwell Kent.) Artwork by M.B.

Selected Works

Non-fiction
Literary essays, memoir, history, bibliography.
Literary History
History of the Bookshelf Told Through the Author's Own Pen-and-Ink Drawings and Commentary
Life Choices
(co-edited with Stephanie Greene) Ancient and Modern Tales and Poems on Choices People Make Along the Road of Life
Book About Books Anthology
Classic and Contemporary Confessions on Living with Books Intensively
Artist's Book
Imaginary Tour of American Painter Albert Pinkham Ryder's Infamous NYC Studio Digs
Poetry
Poems About Snow Written In Collaboration With Harry Smith
Miscellaneous