Eric Ackland, owner of Amazing Bookstore. Photo by Brian Cohen

Don’t miss the beautiful ode to Squirrel Hill’s Amazing Books & Records, and to its owner Eric Ackland, in yesterday’s New York Times.

It’s a lovely piece of writing about a worthy subject — not just Amazing Books itself, but the value of a neighborhood bookstore and the meaningful role it can play in a community.

“Squirrel Hill is one of the oldest Jewish neighborhoods in the country, home to synagogues such as the Tree of Life, where 11 worshipers, from the three congregations sharing the building, were killed last fall by a gunman shouting anti-Semitic slurs,” writes Mark Oppenheimer. “After the massacre, shops like Amazing Books functioned as sanctuaries.”

Browsing at Amazing Books can be “pleasurably disorienting,” Oppenheimer explains. “Standard sections like biography and literature are alphabetically organized, but other shelves have a logic all their own. On one, a Calvin and Hobbes compendium sits next to William Burroughs’s ‘Naked Lunch.’ In the vinyl racks, ‘The Greatest of Nat King Cole’ is one flip away from Elvis Costello and The Attractions’ ‘Goodbye Cruel World.’

Read the full story here.

Melissa Rayworth

Kidsburgh Editor Melissa Rayworth specializes in stories about culture, gender, design and parenting. She has written for a variety of outlets in the U.S. and Asia, and is a frequent contributor to The...