Sunday, September 21, 2014

Lost In the Stacks: A Tour of Mullen Books, Inc.


After yesterday's book signing in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, Andre and I set off a little adventure with our son Eli and his girlfriend Samantha.  Our first stop was Mullen Books, Inc., in Columbia, Pennsylvania, a homey river town not far from Lancaster.


Old freight elevator
Mullen Books is owned by Kevin Mullen, the brother of an old college friend of ours, the brilliant representational painter James Mullen:

Thomas Bay MDI, 2009, oil on canvas

Though our visit was an impromptu one, Kevin welcomed us warmly and gave us a tour of his storefront and all that lies behind it.  Like Jim, Kevin is drawn to beautiful things.  His warehouse is full of surprises, like this antique safe:



And this wax cylinder phonograph, which he demonstrated for us:



But the main attraction at Mullen Books, Inc., is, of course, the books.  Kevin's stock is varied, but at its heart is the most enormous, enticing collection of art books imaginable.

Just one room of many
 Naturally, I couldn't help wandering off into the stacks to do a little browsing.



And just as naturally, we couldn't resist buying a book apiece: an enormous coffee table volume of Edward Hopper's paintings for Andre, a book of Egyptian art and mythology for Eli, a how-to manual on collecting fossilized shark teeth for Samantha.  And for me?  This gem:







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