about Us

About The Shop


 
 

A used bookstore, by definition, is conservative. It can mock right wing public figures, boast a unique selection of books on avant-garde art, punk music and recreational drugs, highlight anarchist and revolutionary writers in its Poli-Sci section – a conservative establishment it remains. It isn't just the act of preserving old books; it is a set of moral and ideological values that are embedded in these objects' very being, regardless of their overt content. These values can be either of historical import or simply anachronistic. They can shed interesting light on our present human condition, or be tossed aside as outmoded and irrelevant. Either way, a used bookstore's very charm is its leaning toward the past.

A warm nostalgic feeling for days gone by will come over you once you enter our store, regardless of what liberal views you may or may not uphold. We know you well our dear target customer, like we know ourselves. “Hypocrite reader! Our own image! Our fellow.” Your love of reading might have brought you in, but you hang around and cannot leave for a different reason. Your passion is visceral; tactile, olfactory. Sure, you’re jaded by the Internet, the e-book, the decline of the book industry. But the old excitement of the treasure hunt is still burning inside you. No facile online purchase can take the place of a quiet stroll along a book isle, eyes and fingers softly skimming the perfectly flushed titles; The rush of an unexpected encounter with a much coveted object; the amazement at a piece of printed matter you never knew existed. The Amazon age readers, who know the title they want for the best price they can get it may protest that they did not find the book they were looking for. Bibliophiles sense this: more than we are in search of books – it is the books themselves that are meeting us according to their own mysterious will.

If you know what we say here is true, then based on our experience it is safe to assume that once you walk through our doors, you will stop, grab your head with both hands and exclaim: OMG – I never thought bookstores like this still existed in New York! To which we respond, tongue in cheek: Thank you kindly, but please curb your religious zeal, ours is a calm and secular space for intellectual exchange… Well, frankly - not quite. Our real agenda is hedonist: we created an artificial paradise, we deal in addictive substances and we know how to get you hooked. Enter at your own peril!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

About Yuval

P.S. Bookshop was founded in Brooklyn by Yuval Gans in 2006. Like all obsessions,  his interest in owning a bookstore (distinguished from mere bibliophilia,  though equally irrational) can be traced back to a childhood phobia.

We are intimidated by authority figures: parents, judges, cops, teachers, waiters, sales persons.  More than anyone else, young Yuval was scared of a vicious old librarian.

By the age of four Yuval was already reading fluently. His older brother, who taught him, took him to the local branch of the Ramat Gan public library and informed the dragon lady behind the counter that his younger sibling is age-eligible to become a member of her municipal protectorate.

The founder and where he is coming from

 

The nearsighted old thing leaned forward and examined the little boy through bottle bottom spectacles.  Her wrinkled yellow skin, speckled with brown foxing marks like an old manuscript appeared strangely alluring to the trembling young boy.  Six, he answered, standing on the tips of his toes. The card was issued and straight as an arrow he shot down the isle, returning momentarily with two parts of Enid Blyton’s Noddy series and a victorious grin on his face. The books cards were punched and out of the doors he shot again. He stopped at the nearest bench he could find and took in the books in two long breaths, then ran right back to return them. Oh no! growled the old guardian of ignorance, only one visit per day. At this rate, she saw, he will be done with the entire children section in a few months.

It took him a year. And so, to continue to the young readers, young adults and adults sections he had to keep lying about his age to the senile, semi-blind librarian; a cause for great anxiety to the young introverted child who could not see why his search for truth must be paved with deception. But the hurdle of censorship kept rising higher: don't take this book, it's too advanced; that one is too mature; this is too tendentious; that's just too... too. The relentless prohibition just served to increase his illicit pleasure of reading.

Using the high school community outreach program Yuval managed to set his foot behind the counter, as a library volunteer. This marked a change in the old lady’s attitude toward him. What his unmitigated passion for reading did not achieve with her, his extraordinary shelving skill and his anal attention for detailed cataloging did. The job won him her sudden affection. She began to extend her naptime in the back room leaving him complete run of the branch. He stayed there long after completing his volunteering requirment. She didn’t seem to notice, or chose not to. In time her lesson served Yuval well in the task of hiring store help. The avid readers he sends away, the OCDs he keeps.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Yuval came to New York as a student in 1993. His first stop on his very first day in the Big Apple was Gotham Book Mart. Some run first to Schubert theater, others to Wall Street. Still,  only in hindsight did this personal memory hit him as a fateful omen. For the next few years he followed his academic wandering in the humanities, a stimulating albeit aimless stroll which he began several years earlier in Tel Aviv.

... and then he disappears into his work

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

When he decided to drop out, as academy was dangerously becoming a career, he looked back on all his student jobs: a musician, a newspaper hack, a bookstore clerk; he easily chose the most enjoyable though least remunerative one.

For six years he managed Heights Books in Brooklyn Heights. After the birth of his daughter Paloma Salomea (hence the P.S.) he opened his own place in the up and coming Dumbo neighborhood.

Yuval lives in Brooklyn with his wife and two kids.