Archive for the 'Bookstore Lore' Category



Canio’s in the New York Times

If you haven’t seen this yet, please read:

Canio's in the New York Times

Canio’s in the New York Times

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/11/23/nyregion/fighting-to-preserve-sag-harbors-literary-flavor.html?ref=nyregionspecial&_r=0

Be sure to stop in at Canio’s over the winter and help us “keep Sag Harbor’s literary light glowing!”

He’s Back! Big white whale sighting at Canio’s

In celebration of our 35th year, we’re planning a special marathon reading of Melville’s Moby Dick.
Canio began the tradition many years ago and due to popular demand, we’re bringing it back. Voices famous and unknown have participated over the years, sometimes reading, or listening in their p.j.s during the wee hours. Plans are now underway for a whale of a celebration, a special anniversary reading with surprises in store, special give-aways and more; contact the shop to be part of this historic event!

Mike’s Last Day

We bid a fond farewell to our dear UPS delivery man, Mr. Mike. Always the professional, Mike had been hefting heavy boxes of books through Canio’s doors for well over 15 years, and we considered him part of the Canio’s team. Dressed in company brown, Mike’s  businesslike demeanor was always pleasant, always courteous. And once in a while, we could get him to crack a smile and chuckle over some silly quip or other.

We wonder just how many pounds of packages he must have delivered during his many long years with the company. The burden didn’t seem to weigh him down, or at least, he didn’t let it show.

Mr. Efficiency would be a fitting nickname for Mike. We could practically set our watches to the sound of his truck brakes as the hulking van pulled up at our curb. That sound would be music to our ears as customers eagerly awaited special orders, especially during  busy summer months and the hectic  holiday season. And on cold, quiet winter afternoons, that sound and Mike’s brief visit were always a welcome part of the day.

In a week or so, another delivery man will be assigned to what we’ve learned is a coveted route. “Everyone here is so nice,” said one temporary delivery guy. Well, we hope so. And we wish “our” Mike (all the shops on Main Street want to claim him their “own”) very well in his new position. He’ll be inside UPS headquarters rather than behind the wheel of the big brown behemoth, warm inside when it’s cold out; dry when it’s lashing; far from  the crazy summer traffic jams, and we hope, comfortable in the good company of his colleagues. Congratulations and all best wishes to #1 Mike!

Steinbeck Spirit in Sag Harbor

An afternoon of spring cleaning on a day that actually feels like the season, yielded a surprise. A charming copy of John Steinbeck’s The Red Pony surfaced like a fragile  crocus finally breaking ground. This limited edition volume, published in 1937 by Covici Friede Publishers , shows signs of age and wear, but also bears the tiny sticker from New York’s famed Holliday Bookshop. A beloved shop that specialized in British and American literary works, Holliday became an institution over its 30-plus years in business.

Later this month we welcome Steinbeck scholar Susan Shillinglaw back to Sag Harbor. She’ll speak on Saturday, April 26 at 5 p.m. as we celebrate the 75th anniversary of the publication of The Grapes of Wrath. Our copy of The Red Pony  is signed by Steinbeck and dedicated to his first wife Carol, (see also Shillinglaw’s Carol and John Steinbeck: Portrait of a Marriage).

The osprey are back now reminding us of Steinbeck’s love/hate relationship with these mighty raptors. Mostly love.  See his humorous essay “My War With the Osprey” reprinted in our Sag Harbor Is: a Literary Celebration.  His “war” turns out to be a jousting match between two clever species, one human, one avian. Guess who wins?

I field a call from a friend considering entering the book business. What advice do I have? Well, considering it’s the first of the month,  April Fool’s Day in fact, and our  rent’s due, I advise extreme caution.  Yet the appearance of The Red Pony feels hopeful. Our copy’s for sale. It’s number 535 of 699, signed and printed on handmade paper. What’s it worth to you?

Big Community Hug

Canio's Cash Mob by SzokaThanks to all cash-mobbers who jammed into Canio’s last Saturday in a huge show of support for our efforts to be your community bookshop. It was a record-breaking day at the shop thanks to friends Bobbi, Eric, April, Eric and many others who contacted friends and spread the word and showed up to give us what felt like a great big hug.
We put a lot of energy into creating an interesting, thought-provoking shop filled with books worth reading, and artists and writers worth meeting. We felt affirmed in our efforts this past Saturday, when the community responded with a resounding, “Yes!” Sag Harbor’s long literary legacy continues!
And we say, “Thank you!” to all who participated. And please do come again. Canio’s is Canio’s because of this wonderful community we all live in and love, and because of people like you.

Steinbeck Slept Here!

Today, February 27,  is John Steinbeck’s birthday as noted, thoughtfully, but incompletely by Garrison Keillor on The Writer’s Almanac. (http://app.info.americanpublicmediagroup.org/e/es?s=1715082578&e=9333&elq=daf1cddcd35f43fa88e5fe39e05aa6ae)

We must add that Steinbeck lived, worked, fished, drank and generally had a good time here in Sag Harbor on the East End of Long Island. Some have called ours a “charming fishing village” not dissimilar to Steinbeck’s beloved Monterey Bay. Steinbeck spent the last decade of his life here, driving out from New York when his works were performed on Broadway stages.

We see a steady stream of  Steinbeck fans on pilgrimage who stop in to ask about where he lived — The writer’s home is now a private residence overlooking Sag Harbor Cove.  Our literary walking tours always wind up there, a respectful distance from the place he wrote The Winter of Our Discontent. It’s said he based several characters on Sag Harbor locals. Steinbeck’s American road book, Travels with Charley begins here in the wind-churned cove, just as Hurricane Donna blows through:”Under the big oak trees of my place at Sag Harbor sat Rocinante…”

John found pals among the locals, fishing buddies and drinking buddies in the days of the notorious Black Buoy bar when Sag Harbor was a place God-fearing mothers forbade their kids from venturing to. But local folks just let Steinbeck be Steinbeck, allowed him his privacy.  In a show of affection for what was then a proudly blue-collar town, Steinbeck helped create our Whalers festival, a giant street parade and rowdy weekend party featuring boat races that once brought sailors and boozers from far and near. The festival, now toned down as Sag Harbor has gone upscale,  is celebrated as HarborFest,  in early September when the crowds have dissipated, but when the weather’s still fine.

Steinbeck conducted his war with the ospreys here, as described in a humorous piece we included in our Sag Harbor Is: A Literary Celebration.  At the centenary of his birth, we hosted a Steinbeck celebration with an exhibit of photographs from the family collection and a stirring tribute by Steinbeck’s friend, the late Budd Schulberg. There’s a beautiful bronze bust of the writer in our beloved John Jermain Library, a tribute to the village’s claim on the Nobel Prize winner.

All this to say, Steinbeck once slept here! He lived here, played here, wrote here. Happy Birthday, John Steinbeck. Sag Harbor salutes you!

After 30 years , a Face Lift

Thanks to the exacting care and attention paid it by artist Pat Moran, our iconic Canio’s Books shop sign has been given new life. This past fall when the weather was fine, Pat would climb a ladder and set to work on the 10 by 3-foot swinging shingle that has come to symbolize literary Sag Harbor. Its signature marine blue background is now brightened to match the blue of sun-saturated bay waters nearby. Pat worked painstakingly to first clean and protect the wood surface, then went in with matching colors and highlights to accentuate our Old English lettering. Our beloved logo, first created by artist Nohra Barros, the Pagliacci clown is once again beating his drum atop a pile of books. As we enter a new century of bookselling with much uncertainty about the future, we’re delighted to see our sign spruced up and ready for whatever weather is headed our way. And we’re eternally grateful to Pat Moran for helping us look our best.
As a complement to our newly restored sign, we’re flying a brand-new authentic Earth Flag. Designed by John McConnell, the man who also gave us Earth Day, the Earth flag helps raise consciousness about our precious planetary home. The Earth flag not only symbolizes our love of and reverence for planet Earth, it is truly beautiful. To gaze upon this image, is to experience awe. Come see our new sign, our new flag and browse our special selection of literary books on nature, spirituality, the environment and more.


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!

Vanishing Landscapes