So you want to start a book shop. Good! Ken’s not afraid of the competition; he’ll even encourage you. He wishes every building on his street would house a different independent book shop. He’s a proponent of idiosyncratic small businesses as an antidote to the bland, big-box sameness that plagues most American cities. So what advice would Kenneth Gloss, with his years of experience, impart to the neophyte bookseller? It’s simple: just be in great physical shape, and know everything.
A family wedding in Kenya inspires Ken to start reading about Africa-and thinking about the book collections that could be made up of works about this vast and varied continent. From the early exploration narratives of the 1700's to the novels of Ernest Hemingway and Isak Dinesen, the possibilities are almost as diverse as Africa is.
Books! They're not just for reading. They can lend atmosphere to a bar or hotel lobby, make your living room seem smarter, and even be hollowed out in order to contain a tiny gun. In this episode Ken talks about decorating with books: books as silent conveyors of knowledge and safety, books as status symbols, and even books as movie set decor (books from the Brattle have made cameos in a few famous films). Whether it’s 6,000 red books or a single exquisite leather-bound volume, books really do furnish a room.