In its partnership with Dashwood Books, The Mercer brings together two New York classics

From the start, Dashwood Books in New York has been the go-to venue for art book launches and book signing parties and, of course, a favorite spot for bibliophiles in search of the rarest and finest finds. recent in the field of photography. In 2005, photographer David Strettel set out to create a unique space to offer a selection of rare titles ranging from contemporary photography to fashion and lifestyle. “I opened the doors when many independent bookstores were closing due to Amazon’s domination and came to retail with no prior experience and a certain naivety,” he says of the 33 Bond Street shop, “but I felt that a specialized bookstore in a city like New York still had some value, especially when the books I celebrated were often not available elsewhere and had physical qualities that really needed manipulated to be appreciated. Dashwood has since served longtime customers and friends who have developed a close bond with the store.

Fostering these close ties has led to the curation of private collections for individual customers who trust the store, and Strettel itself, to create personalized reference libraries that suit their tastes. Strettel has worked with luxury brands such as Gucci, where it has created a library of over 1,500 titles at its flagship SoHo store, and captured the attention of equally artistic venues.

The Library, curated by Dashwood Books at the Mercer in New York.

This year, just three blocks from its Bowery storefront, Dashwood Books hosted its first hotel library at The Mercer, where patrons can peruse carefully curated stacks by Strettel himself. Located in the heart of SoHo, The Mercer is a 74-room boutique hotel built in 1890 and designed by the late French interior designer Christian Liaigre. Now, upon entering its lobby, customers are greeted by a mahogany bookcase filled with special tomes from its neighboring independent boutique.

In curating this reference library, Strettel wanted it to complement the overall feel of the hotel and for the lobby to be “a private space where one can be left alone to truly engage with the books.” Additionally, his goal was “to enrich their existing collection so that there is a wide range of reference works on the visual arts, while including enough surprises that even a casual browser will be rewarded with inspiration” , he says of the partnership.

Visitors to the Mercer Hotel can enjoy a martini at the bar and browse through Strettel’s exclusive literary selections. He’s convinced there’s a book for every overnight guest. Titles included range from The Kibbo Kift Family: Intellectual Barbarians from Annebella Pollen to Susan Meiselas Carnival Strippers – Revisited. After all, he says, in putting together the hotel’s personalized collection, he kept in mind “the nature of their clientele: connoisseur of the arts, with discerning taste and looking for something out of the ordinary. ‘ordinary “.

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