portraits of the “book man”….

i’m starting an on-going photo project about the “book man” on court street in cobble hill. anyone who lives in the area knows the community bookstore. it has been around for over 30 years and is quite a sight to see. as is the introverted shop keeper. here are some portraits that i took during our first shoot.

~ by jacobbmurphy on April 19, 2011.

100 Responses to “portraits of the “book man”….”

  1. The last one is the best* and the lighting makes the photo. It creates this three dimensional quality with the valley of books.

  2. So amazing, I love them all. Great idea.

  3. Amazing photos of a true bibliophile! Thanks for sharing!

  4. Um…wow. SO cool.

    Thank you for sharing these amazing shots!


    Check out my latest post, β€œMy Big Fat Poop Wedding,” at http://www.mikaleebyerman.wordpress.com.

  5. I love those pictures! Well done. That book story also looks like somewhere I’d visit everyday to bask in its glory. It must be quite the adventure, that store.

  6. I love the pile of books and the spread of colors around the pictures. Especially, the old man has a charming little smile he gives as he holds the coffee….

    Amazing pics..and hey, ..it’s fabulous to see such portraits. Keep doing them.

  7. Fascinating photos! Thanks so much for sharing them! And congrats on being FP-ed!

  8. I adore the second photo with the Frida Khalo book standing out in the back, as if it where asking to be read.

  9. Thanks. http://cmbooks.wordpress.com

  10. This is awesome. It reminds me of the wand shop in Harry Potter – only, with books and paper instead of wands. Very, very cool.

  11. […] Post from WordPress.com This entry was posted in wprdpress.com. Bookmark the permalink. ← Day and Night. […]

  12. That man is me in a few years!

  13. Actually not that many years:)

  14. Very nice!

  15. Wonderful pics of the Book man πŸ™‚

  16. You could get him onto that show “hoarders”! But really, places like those have a certain character that you could never find in a barnes and noble or borders. Great photos.

  17. what is this place ? Really cool ! Can you actually pick up a book without starting and avalanche ? ;o) love it !

  18. Wow, that store is just amazing! I bet he can find anything in about 20 seconds too. It looks cluttered to me, but I’m sure there’s reason to the madness.

  19. quite nice of him to let you take this (very nice!) photos. I like the second one: a chilled king taking a peek from his throne.

  20. The last one is an amazing photograph. Love the colors. Awesome Job!

  21. Those are fantastic. Great depth!

  22. Good reportage style project – especially like the fourth photo!

  23. Great portraits. Remind me of a British sitcom “Black Books ” about an independent bookstore… :o)

  24. […] Librarul e din Cobble Hill, New York. Alte fotografii cu el – aici. […]

  25. Beautifully captured his expressions, jacob πŸ™‚

  26. and I’ll bet he knows where everything is, too!!

    Wonderful photos of a very interestnig subject. MJ

  27. Wow, makes you think that some people value how large their bank account is. I feel this man has his value tied in books and magazines. You can see the hobby behind the business.

  28. These are amazing, I can’t wait to see more of this shop keeper.

  29. I’m going to go out on a limb here and take a wild guess that he has a hording problem… Great pictures!

  30. I really love the candid photo of him with his coffee. That’s gorgeous–you really captured his character. =)

  31. lovely pics…

  32. Wow, great pictures….we had a guy near campus called the “cat man”. As you can guess, he had like 50 cats. Definitely not a photo project I would be willing to take up. I’ll leave that to that hoarders TV show. However, there was a guy who would roam into bars and bet people a drink he could solve an arubix cube in less than 3 minutes…..I need to find that guy!

  33. it’s a little like a house on an episode of “hoarders”, but in the coolest way. if you’re gonna hoard, hoarding books seems like the way to go. i’d love to stop there!

  34. Amazing pictures! Thanks for sharing! πŸ™‚

  35. Is this store across the street from your thai place? I think I may have browsed through it when we were waiting for a table, tons of history in its original form. The owner looks so pleased that you are interested in his shop. i love going through these stores, such interesting subjects jump off the selve at you:)

  36. nice shots!

  37. Really liked the 4th and 5th ones down. Nice photos!

  38. It definitely looks like a real life version of ‘Black Books’, so cool. Such excellent photos, such a beautiful eccentric. Great stuff!
    Astra Wally

  39. What an amazing bookshop! I love it! Great photos, too!

  40. I understand your passion, and am glad I found an avid reader and blogger as I am. You look like you need some help, but know that God supports all that you are doing.

  41. Stunning photographs!

  42. Hi there,

    That is some very nice images that you made there.

    Have a good day.

  43. I love the last one. and wow! so many books! I want to just go over there and read them all. πŸ˜€

  44. The photo’s are terrific. Can’t wait to see more. I wonder if he wants to sell them or just likes collecting them …. MMmmmmmm ….. either way, for sure he knows where everything is. Hoarders always do.

    Good Job !!!!!

  45. πŸ™‚

  46. Ah wow!!!

  47. very cool photo essay on a really unique man…

  48. Two of my favorite subjects captured in one great post, books & photography! Congratulations on being Freshly Pressed!

  49. Looks like my kind of bookstore! The kind you litereally lose yourself in for hours at a time.

  50. So very talented…fantastic pictures. Wish I had a place like this in my neck of the woods.

  51. Great pictures! God, I love places like that shop!

  52. Those pictures are beautiful.

  53. My favourite of this serie is the bookman lighting a cigarette x) pretty sharp πŸ™‚
    Take a look to my blog, I’m pretty much in photography, I write in French because I’m from MontrΓ©al, but you could enjoy some of them. I shoot in a “lomography” spirit, hope you’ll like. It is not updated a lot these times because of final exams, but this summer I’ll update at least twice a week.

  54. How lucky to be a Book Man. Cool pictures πŸ™‚

  55. Amazing photographs – makes me want to know more about this man’s story. Great work! kt

  56. loved the whole concept..!! will try some too..

  57. These photos are amazing. What a great subject! πŸ™‚

  58. Love that shop and miss going by, having lived in the area for a number of years. Wonderful images, great post. Thanks for sharing- looking forward to more, and congrats on being Freshly Pressed!
    Cheers, Marc

  59. Wow Impressive!!!!

  60. are you kidding me?! this is amazing!
    What a collection!
    I love the written word- especially in book form.
    electronic books can never compare!
    beautiful image. I’m so glad you shared this!

  61. Wow so many books. Great pics

  62. Oh god, this is wonderful. He’s created his own little world in there, and you’ve managed to capture it perfectly so that we can all take a peek. Thank you. ♥

  63. Amazing, amazing photo’s!

  64. I’ve actually loved them all!! The colours, atmosphere and surroundings makes you feel you’re living in a little child’s fantasy world where books live in towers and piles of ther own with that magical smile of the “Book Keeper”!

    ** Heads down deeper to check some older posts :)! **


  65. sometimes “book man” is so cool!

  66. This is such a beautiful post. And what a great idea. Your photos have beautiful colors and such depth. my favorite is the one with him sitting behind all his books. Question: did you have to bring in extra lighting in order to carry out the photo shoot? If so, how did you do it?

  67. AMAZING portraits!
    I am such a big fan of local bookstores, I prefer them to the large book “malls”!
    They have a sweet charm around them..

  68. what a character.. Amazing photos btw =))

  69. What a fascinating book shop…yet how does one manage to find a book to buy without making everything else fall down?! πŸ™‚

  70. Nice post.I am obsessed about books and thank you to feed my obsession.I love books and its nice to find someone who shares the same interest

  71. great photos of books.

  72. These images remind me of a used bookstore I frequented some years ago.

  73. Fantastic pictures, wish I had a bookstore like that near where I live…

  74. i love the style and how he is always surrounded by something whether its his books or his store, the way you shot him really does highlight that introvertedness. Great work!

  75. OMG….What a collection of book!!!
    I will mad…excellent capture.Thanks for sharing.

  76. Love the pic’s. The laast one is so lovely with the light and depth of field! Congratulations on being FP! πŸ™‚

  77. well shot. very nice. reminds me of a gentleman who owns a bookstore here in sydney. v similar, in my little neighbourhood… pretty introverted guy too.

  78. I hate the mess, but I lover the books.

  79. I like the second photo. Some happiness within the monotony. Greetings from Brazil.

  80. Thank you for sharing these photos of an independent bookseller! We need all the help we can get these days! I’ll be posting a link on our Facebook fan page.

    Congrats on Freshly Pressed!

    Dave Shoots, Bookseller
    Saint John, NB Canada

  81. I really enjoyed these pictures. You have quite an eye for natural expressions. I would love to meet this bookstore owner and dig through his mountainous collection of reading material! Wow!
    Well done…I will follow. I write check out my blog. Also take photos, ever give feedback?

  82. this is super good! the photos were inspiring! πŸ™‚

  83. he should definitely think about getting a kindle, or at least SORTING – these pics are MAD!

    keep them coming…

  84. Wow, those are great… I want to go to that bookshop now. And possibly die in an avalanche of precariously balanced books. πŸ˜€

  85. I will definitely have to see this

  86. Thanks for the wonderful directions.

  87. Great shots. #4 is just incredible πŸ˜‰

    Two thoughts: Yikes! – and – Wow! Look at all the boooooooks!!!!

    I could spend a week just diving in and sorting through for treasure!

  88. Your pictures are gorgeous! I totally love that everywhere you go, there’s always that one local book shop that has one sole – sometimes slightly off – proprietor who is always just such a character of a person. My town has one that is officially called “Schroeder Music and Books” but that everyone I know refers to only as ‘Old Lady Bookstore.’ The Old Lady in question wears a huge black curly wig, is missing a wide array of teeth, and can typical be found sitting by the door in a folding chair eating handfuls of grated cheese. That is, of course, when she chooses to open the store; despite having posted hours, it’s generally only open from 9pm – 4am, with occasional (very rare) daytime stints. Nonetheless, she has a big store that is positively overflowing with books to the point in which – much like the store you photographed – the tomes become beyond shelves and form a labyrinth of narrow halls and passages, sometimes meeting alarming dead-ends.

    Best of luck with your series – I hope one day that you can take pictures of the book men and women all across the world.

  89. I shared this via FB and asked, “if my head were a business model, would it look like this?” Consensus is yes, apparently πŸ˜‰

    These pictures are an awesome example of how our heads work – the things we collect in them – and how we valuate each little dogeared snippet.

  90. Late to the party, but you’ve done such an incredible job here – hope you keep posting, and I hope you share a coffee with him every now and then and just chat – I’d love to see some of his words, your conversation, up with future pics.

    Thanks for sharing!

  91. That is really something! If we had a bookstore like that around here i’d practically live there! Nice work

    Mesa Mendoza

  92. book obsession

  93. The place is crazy! How can you possibly find anything to buy?

  94. Pretty interesting πŸ˜‰ my favourite is the last one but they’re all pretty good!

  95. Good capture..thanks to share

  96. I would like to expand your idea further, and will digging out more for further details.

  97. cool pictures!!

  98. […] Β  The store is owned and presided over by The Bookman of Cobble Hill.Β I was going to put a picture that I took of The Bookman here,Β but Jacob Murphy, always does it best. See the rest of his beautiful series here. […]

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