• On Collecting

    Style reveals the man. The building of a library is an act of style, an expression of what we are and a good measure of who we are. Collecting is an act of self-realization. One collects books and builds a library to create an intensified environment. It is a philosophical statement as this room is […]

  • John Waters

    From the Library of John Waters

    Reading as a Pleasant Deviation: A Guided Tour of John Waters Library I was not a book fanatic until I was fifteen and discovered Genet and Burroughs and all these Grove Press books and thought, thank God, I’m not that abnormal. That opened up a whole new world to me. Those were my friends. Tennessee […]

  • Albert Murray

    From the Library of Albert Murray

    That shelf is where my real stuff is. See it start with Joyce and come up to Hemingway, Faulkner and Fitzgerald. That’s it. That’s the contemporary literature I read. Those people in those books up there on the shelves provide a solid base to enable us to get to it all. There’s Mann’s Joseph and […]

  • Susanna Moore

    Susanna Moore on the Book as Aphrodisiac

    My first acquaintance with Susanna just precedes the publication of her first novel, My Old Sweetheart, when we “met cute”. I was selling books at a carriage trade shop on the Upper East Side of Manhattan that several of her friends frequented; our bi-coastal movie clientele, it turned out, all knew her. She was beautiful, […]

  • Alan Pryce-Jones's bookplate

    From the Library of Alan Pryce-Jones

    From my diary June 25, 1991 Mr. Pryce-Jones’s houses are on John Street in the heart of Old Newport.  Three mid-Ninteenth Century saltboxes.  His principle residence is at 46 where we found a note addressed to Mr. and Mrs. Thometz asking us to check in at #50.  I hadn’t been prepared for a compound. The […]

  • Fran Lebowitz

    Fran Lebowitz On Reading

    As told to Kurt Thometz.  I’m not a collector. I don’t care about things like that. I not a collector because I’m not that organized. I’m not grown-up enough to collect things, but I have acquired a stellar collection of odd books, weirdo books, books that don’t fit easily into categories. I have a very […]

  • Photo of Diana Vreeland by Richard Avedon

    From the Library of Diana Vreeland

    “Let’s suppose you were a total stranger – and a very good friend. That’s a good combination. What would you want to know about me? And how would you go about finding it out? To me the books I’ve read are the gateway. My life has been more influenced by books than by any other […]

  • On Bibliophiles

    Reading, the unpunished vice, promises, as most vices do, a finer world within the world. Beyond the narrow realm of our senses is the greater reality retained in and contained by that cumbersome and collectable commodity, the book. While all book collectors consider themselves bibliophiles, most bibliophiles perceive collecting as the precious sport of a […]

  • Chet Baker

    Deep in a Dream   By James Gavin As Though I Had Wings   By Chet Baker   At 3 a.m. on May 13, 1988, Chet Baker nodded out, threw himself out, or was thrown out of, a hotel room window in Amsterdam, quite as if he had wings. Long ago and far away, I dreamed a […]

  • Pimpnology

    Pimpnology: Regarding Players, Hoes, Johns & The Life “Police, politicians, businessmen, lawyers, dope dealers, prostitutes, pimps – all are dependent on one another, yet all prey on one another.  In modern urban life, none of us is immune to this kind of social network; the very life of the city is made up of such […]

Across 160th Street

Rarely seen underground classic starring Kurt Thometz, owner of Jumel Terrace Books, New York City. Shot in Harlem, Brooklyn & Washington Heights, Mr. Thometz's Checker automobile is co-star of this high budget, violent story about smuggling the controversial novels of Milt Gross into New York in the 1970s. Currently Mr. Thometz is patiently awaiting his next film offer.

Books Are Weapons - Blog Stream

The Book Problem

The Book Problem Were the problem book people like us, it would soon go away. It is not our weaknesses, or our sentimentality, or our nostalgia. It’s As If’ we’ve become obsolete and we haven’t. By ‘we,’ I mean We the People of the Book: Jews, Christians, Islamic people and a lot of people who […]

Maxims by the Pound

From ABC of Reading. Ezra Pound. Literature is language charged with meaning. Literature is news that STAYS news. If a nation’s literature declines, the nation atrophies and decays. Your legislator can’t legislate for the public good, you commander can’t command, you populace (if you be a democratic country) can’t instruct its ‘representatives’, save by language. […]

from my forthcoming, Principles of Retail

On the Commodification of  Ideas Somebody other than me must have said Reading is a finer world within the world.  Most can’t be bothered to read but I prefer it to much of what otherwise passes for a spiritual or intellectual life in this most worldly of worlds.  I have always preferred reading to writing.  Most […]

Maxims

Premise:  Books Are Weapons recognizes the revolutionary effect literacy can have on reclaiming our independence from the confines of mediocrity. Literacy enables the self-determination necessary to enjoying the basic human rights. Literacy, being a tool for coming to terms with one’s otherness, effects a change of consciousness more significantly than any other stimulant to the mind. […]