26 Sep 2007

Books by the Foot

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When Paramount Pictures needed books for Professor Indiana Jones’s library, they went to the last survivor of New York City’s old book row: the legendary Strand Bookstore. As Austin Kelley reports in the New Yorker, the Strand is quite accustomed to such requests, and in fact has been offering “books-by-the-foot” (.3048 meters) decorating services since since 1986.

Customers can choose from eighteen basic library styles, for purchase or rental. “Bargain books,” a random selection of hardbacks, is the cheapest, at ten dollars per foot of shelf space. For thirty dollars, clients can customize the color. For seventy-five, they can get a “leather-looking” library, which, as the Strand’s Web site puts it, “is often mistaken for leather.”

For Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (2008), the Strand carefully selected books on appropriate subjects, including paleontology, marine biology, and pre-Columbian society, all in editions published prior to 1957.

Read the whole thing.


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