Rachel Kramer Bussel

Rachel Kramer Bussel
New York, New York, USA
November 10
I'm a writer, editor, blogger and event organizer based in New York City. I've edited 39 anthologies, including Obsessed, Gotta Have It, Fast Girls, and more, and write widely about sex, dating, pop culture and books.

Editor’s Pick
NOVEMBER 30, 2011 12:24PM

Why I Love Greenpoint, Brooklyn indie bookstore WORD

Rate: 2 Flag

I love books, and I love talking about books, but I'm often hard pressed to find people outside the internet as eager to chat about the latest romance and young adult novels as they are about the new Gary Shteyngarten or Haruki Murakami (no offense). Where I know I can always go and discuss the nuances of historical romance novelists Sarah MacLean and Eloisa James, or debate the fact that so much YA is full of death, or simply compare tattoos or thoughts on what's new in book land, is WORD, at 126 Franklin Street in Greenpoint, Brooklyn, where the staff genuinely love books.  When they recommend something to me, I don't feel like I'm getting the hard sell so they can make a buck, but rather a genuine, customized recommendation. "Sometimes I buy books online," I whispered a little shamelessly while in the store last night. "When they're cheaper," I hastened to explain. Nobody gave me a hipster death stare.

book lover greeting cards

book cover t-shirts

Recently, I wanted a copy of the graphic memoir Underwire by online comix creator Jennifer Hayden, and being the somewhat lazy person I am, I posted to WORD's Twitter account (@wordbrooklyn) asking if they had it. They didn't, but they ordered a copy for me, emailed me when it was in the store, and I just picked it up and am loving this quirky, profanity-laced comic about motherhood and marriage. I do often shop for books online, because, again, I'm lazy, but what I get from WORD is the art of the random discovery, such as a book I carry in my purse in all its tattered beauty. One afternoon when I was looking for something to cure an increasingly broken heart, I found poet Nikki Giovanni's Bicycles. It's a deceptively slim volume, but it contains a poem, "I Would Not Be Different," that spoke to me in a way all the other women who've fallen for married men couldn't ("You sort of see someone/And you don't want to notice/That ring on his finger/Nor really that sort of happy/Look in his eyes"). That poem alone has gotten me through some tough times, and I have WORD to thank for it. Bonus: for every $100 you spend, you get $5 in store credit. Last night's purchases—Underwire, the latest issue of food magazine Lucky Peach, and a recommendation of a children's graphic novel from event organizer Jenn Northington, whose word I trust immensely, Zita the Spacegirl by Ben Hatke--mean I have a credit to spend next time I'm in the store. Lucky me.

my most recent WORD purchases

romance novel swag from a signing I attended earlier this year

pop culture pencils

this is not true of me, but aren't these fun cards?

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WORD is awesome. They had a midnight release party when IQ84 came out. ;)
I liked this post a lot, the information, the way it was written and the tone. We find out a little bit about you and a little bit about the bookstore. Nice combination.
There is nothing better than a good bookstore! It's so sad the way so many of them are closing. Stupid, stupid Kindle. Electronic reading gadgets will never feel as good as the weight of a good book in your hands!
I am with you. I prefer real books.

However, I live a long way from Brooklyn, and there are no bookstores where I live.

I downloaded "Ulysses" onto my reading contraption, and, to make things easier, I was able to download a chapter explanation of the book, also, I could follow (I love travel & maps.) the walks of the characters around Dublin, including looking at Davy Byrne's pub, where Leopold Bloom ate his gorgonzola sandwich and a glass of burgundy. BTW, I am told by those who should know, that burgundy, unlike Bordeaux wines, do not travel well. So, M. Joyce, I'm not sure about the burgundy.

In any event, touching little buttons on the reading device and quickly switching from the book to the map to the explanations, makes for an interesting experience, somewhat different from reading a real book.
I am a huge fan of my e-reader (I got a Nook). Just want to make that clear. I don't necessarily think one is better than another, and now I often read on the treadmill on my e-reader, on my laptop (Nook for Mac) as well as paper books. I think graphic novels and poetry are especially suited to paper books, but I value each in their own way. For instance, the 600+ page Walter Isaacson Steve Jobs biography? I would not want to lug that around! I'm reading it on my Nook. I get a lot of information about what books I want to read next online, but I get a different sensation walking through a bookstore like WORD. I like the idea that a bookstore doesn't necessarily have every book ever (but can order books that are still in print), but has carefully selected and curated what they think their customers would like. I'm very heavily swayed if someone who knows my reading tastes says, "I think you'd like this."
Why was Twin Peaks cancelled? Poor decision.
That poem alone has gotten me through some tough times, and I have WORD to thank for it. Bonus: for every $100 you spend, you get $5 in store credit. HealthyHome4Our2Boys.com