Saturday, November 10, 2007


Barbershop Quarto

A few weeks back the Fine Books blog had a great post on old combination barbershop-bookstores, as evidenced by these stamps inside old books:

Digging around a little, I came across a brilliant modern variation on the idea: a 2004 San Diego Union-Tribune article on the R. Spot Barber & Books, a black bookstore-barbershop-poetry slam combo:

Creating such a haven was R. Spot owner James Richards' goal when the shop opened 17 months ago. Richards is 39, grew up in San Diego's Chollas Creek neighborhood and still has never cut hair. In the shop, he is the DJ, plucking rare records from crates and shelves and spinning them on a dual turntable system.... "We need black bookstores. Too many of them close down. I wanted to bring the books to the people. I've always been an activist. When I was a kid, my dad took me to Rob's Barber Shop, on Euclid Avenue. I heard all the cats there talking about black issues. That was a special time for me."

Sadly, the R. Spot is no more: it closed in 2005, after gentrification and new building owners jacked the rent from $1550 to $3860 per month.

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