Archive for the 'Bookstore Lore' Category

If It Weren’t For Joe Pintauro…

Tracing a line from cause to effect can be an inexact pursuit. Serendipity is hard to map. But we know for sure there’s a meandering path from creative inspiration to published book, to reader, to bookshop owner beginning with one novelist Joe Pintauro whose books Snow Orchid and Cold Hands led one reader, Canio Pavone  to visit Sag Harbor one ambling  afternoon. Canio wanted to see the town Joe had written about. What Canio saw that day as he drove through village streets and down to the harbor, was a “For Rent” sign in an empty storefront window at 290 Main. The rest of the story spins out from there, and is still being written.

So it was with particular sadness that we, along with nearly the entire East End arts and literary community, marked the passing of Joe Pintauro, novelist, playwright, poet, priest, photographer and more. Our condolences to Joe’s husband and partner of 40 years Greg Therriault, to his family and to his many friends far and wide.

Remembering Barbara Wersba

Remembering Writer, Teacher, Publisher Barbara Wersba

We remember fondly and with great admiration Barbara Wersba a longtime customer and friend of Canio’s Books.  Barbara’s keen intelligence, sharp wit and literary insight were a few of her qualities that distinguished her in a community of literary types.   Barbara Wersba wrote  Walter, The Story of a Rat, a charming story set in Safe Harbor about a friendship between a lonely writer, Miss Amanda Pomeroy and a rat with literary aspirations.  Other titles include Penny Parade: A Christmas Story; Let Me Fall Before I Fly among other titles. Her Bookman Press produced a series of chapbooks, designed by Jerry Kelly, noted for their physical beauty as well as their literary quality. Bookman Press published stories, essays and poems by such authors as George Sand, Kennedy Fraser,  Simon Van Booy, and Joe Pintauro among many others.

Barbara lived for many years in North Haven where she opened her home to writing students with whom she shared her exacting literary standards as well as her encouragement.

A graveside service will be held Friday, February 23 at 11 a.m. at Oakland Cemetery, Jermain Avenue, Sag Harbor.

Keeping Sag Harbor Salty

Sag Harbor without its cinema, is one thing. A very big thing. We hope the cinema will be rebuilt soon. But now the pizza place? Word is out that Conca D’Oro, recently sold to a well-known restaurateur who promises to keep the name and the general feel of this 1950s-style trattoria. We hope so.

All this change makes us only more committed to keeping Sag Harbor a little bit salty. To provide this village with quirky and interesting books worth reading. To bring engaging voices to the community. To be a place for people, passion, poetry, prose & yes, T-shirts. Literary ones. Our handsome midnight-blue Moby-Dick marathon 2017 issue, for example.

If you haven’t been by for a while, you’ll find not much has changed about the basic plan of the shop. The floor boards still creak and the shelves are still jammed. If you’re a frequent visitor, you know there’s always something new to discover in those stacks.

Sometimes things can get just a little too slick around here. But rest assured, we at Canio’s will do our part to keep Sag Harbor’s literary legacy going strong. Now, please pass the salt.

 

 

Just ask a bookseller!

We’re deep into tourist season, for which we’re grateful. Visitors from all points pass through our doors. We love hearing their impressions of this place, and are generally happy to answer the usual and not so usual questions we’re asked.

Need directions? Restaurant recommendations?  A place to rent?  A job,  a husband, maybe? Well, just ask your local bookseller. While Yelp,  Air bnb and GPS have satisfied most, some still prefer the personal touch. So in the course of a day, we get asked everything from where’s the Tomato Lady to what to read at the beach. It’s nice to be thought of as knowledgeable, but sometimes it’s just impossible to satisfy every inquiry.

“What do you do in here all day?” someone once asked.

Another wanted to know if a certain local author would make a suitable mate. No comment!

One admired a devotional candle we display near spirituality books. The candle’s not for sale, I explained, but could be found in the supermarket. “But which aisle would they be in?”

One sunny weekend, a woman burst in. “Hellooo?” she called.  “Where’s the best place to buy steak?” That’s a new one, we thought …and we don’t even eat red meat.  I wondered how to parlay this into a book sale. Recommend Omnivore’s Dilemma?  Instead I suggested  the butcher at Schiavoni’s Market.   I gave directions to the shop. “But I don’t regularly buy steak,” I confessed. She seemed disappointed. “Then where’s the best place to buy fish?”

Has a bookseller helped you with a non-book-related question? Let us know.

Walt is coming!

“Starting from Paumanok”, and continuing all day in Sag Harbor, community readers will gather at Canio’s on Saturday, May 21 from 10 a.m. until around 6 p.m. to read from Walt Whitman’s Leaves of Grass. Don’t miss a chance to meet “Mr. Whitman Long Island,” aka Darrel Blaine Ford, who in his eighties and with a long white beard bears a striking resemblance to America’s most well known poet. When he was only a child, Mr. Ford took a very long bicycle ride from his home near the South Shore to the  Whitman birthplace in West Hills.  Whitman himself trekked up and down Long Island from Brooklyn out to Montauk with regular visits to his sister in Greenport.

On Friday, May 20 at 6 p.m. learn more about Whitman on Long Island with speaker William T. Walter, president of the Whitman Birthplace who will join us at Canio’s and set us on the right path for our all-day reading on Saturday.

Finally, pick up a copy of Leaves, a tin of Whitman’s green tea blend, or if you’re reading with us, you’ll receive a commemorative button. And don’t miss our after-party, Saturday evening….after all, we’re celebrating Whitman’s birthday!

Hast Thou Seen the White Whale?

MOBY DICK Marathon Info

whale

No one can actually see it in its entirety, the Great White Whale; it’s too big, too white, too fast, too darkly hidden in an ocean we know not how deep.  Swimming still, even after Captain Ahab’s best and worst efforts, Moby Dick, that majestic, fearsome, sacred creature will be celebrated once again during our marathon reading set for June 12 through 14 in Sag Harbor village. A double anniversary, Canio’s Books 35th and Southampton Town’s 375th, the weekend event takes place at various locations and culminates in a party after the last word it uttered, Sunday afternoon. A few years after Canio Pavone first opened Canio’s Books, he and some literary friends picked Herman Melville’s magnificent work, Moby-Dick as the best book to be read aloud in a village that once was a significant whaling port. There’s something for everyone in its pages: sea-faring suspense, tragedy, comedy, themes of the battle between good and evil, fate and chance, free will, religion, race, sexuality, man and nature, obsession and madness. Ahoy! We hope you’ll join us for some or all of this literary party. And we’re looking for sponsors, too. For one-hundred dollars you can sponsor your favorite chapter of this great American novel.

Canio’s is Here to Stay!

Winter’s eve at Canio’s … cozy!

While there’s lots of buzz in town since it was announced the building we’re in is for sale ($2.9 million), we continue on in the spirit of the great white whale, Moby Dick, still swimming in the vast ocean. Landlords come and go, but Canio’s is here to stay.

What’s more: we’re celebrating our 35th year in business and we’re bringing back the Moby Dick Marathon reading. Set for the weekend of June 12 through 14, the reading will begin and end at Canio’s and will include readings at other great local cultural institutions like the Sag Harbor Whaling Museum, John Jermain Library, the Old Whaler’s Church and Bay Street Theater among other stops. We’ll be hosting other celebrations through out the year to come including a poster contest open to all artists. Contact us soon to register to read. Don’t miss the party!


Canio's Books is located at 290 Main Street, Sag Harbor, NY 11963. You can drop an email to info@caniosbooks.com, or even check out some of our stock online. Thanks for visiting our blog!

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