If I Can’t Sell It I’ll Sit On It, I Just Won’t Give It Away.

A selection from the golden era of 42nd Street XXX bookshops, so far back that they only sold print-on-paper porn.  In the 1970s and ’80s, when gender studies were a more an intimately personal interest than an academic pursuit, Times Square was where you went to find out what you still can’t learn in school.  At least I did.  And so did Michael O’Donoghue, who I knew best as the author of The Evergreen Review’s early version of a graphic novel, The Adventures of Phoebe Zeit-Geist. 

He’s better known as the generator of The National Lampoon and Saturday Night Live show.  In the summer of 1995 I was helping his widow Cheryl Hardwick, the band leader, appraising his library for sale.  It was one of my more amusing jobs.  Mr. O’Donoghue was fond of hiding things in his books, candid polaroids of scenes from the pre-AIDS years being my favorites, all of which I dutifully handed over to the Mrs.

Who reciprocated.  We were able to sell off the vast majority of his books and were left with the porn, which I took to an erotica dealer in Brooklyn who offered us less than I thought it was worth.  Cheryl was happy to trade used porn for library services. Rather than sell it our collections merged.  Much has gone missing since then.  At a house party we threw in Brooklyn a gaggle of transvesticles from Lucky Cheng’s became enamored of the most arresting and arrestable material, spiriting it away in their own very clever ways.

To this small but impressive collection there is a larger collection of hardcover and soft Grove Press/Black Cat/Traveler’s Companion/Collector’s Publications sufficient to filling a boudoir bookcase.

Inquire for price.


Leave A Comment