If it please the court, Exhibit B.

Yeah, so I launched a true-crime bookshop.

“You WHAT?!”

…I know! I still can’t decide if this is the best or the dumbest thing I ever did, so let’s go with “both” and move on to where I tell you all about it. It’s called Exhibit B., and you can find it at exhibitbbooks.com (and @exhibitbbooks on Twitter and Insta). Exhibit B. is a used bookstore specializing in true crime, mostly books but some ephemera (vintage magazines, posters, DVDs).

How this came to pass is kind of a long story on the bricks-and-mortar side, but a former barbershop down the street from me went up for rent — after, rumor has it, the previous tenant was taken out of the joint in cuffs for possession with intent; wherever he is and whyever THAT is, I wish him well — and the landlord was very agreeable to terms. And even though it was seven shitty bucks an hour, no commission, and I had to quit as a matter of feminist principle because the owner told me to my face that the new guy was getting paid more because he was a guy? My job as a book-search coordinator with a tiny little desk in a crowded little shop in the Chelsea Market was the best. The best! Yeah, a lot has changed since I was using Microsoft Access to input results from the ABA search “wire” (oh, mid-’90s). Yeah, owning a shop isn’t in the same time zone as working in one. Yeah, the economy is in the garbage, my storefront’s on a side street, shipping times are theoretical constructs, and it won’t freakin’ stop snowing.

But I love thinking about true crime and I love thinking about old books, and eventually you gotta decide that “one day” has arrived. And here it is: Exhibit B.

If you’d like, stop on over and browse around. New inventory goes in every day, so bookmark it or get on the mailing list (don’t worry, I’m not going to Old Navy you with a dozen emails a day). Or just ask me for search help: exhibitbbooks at gmail dot com for rare-book hunts, questions, requests, or ideas for “installations.” Yep, I’m going to have guests “curate” the other kind of exhibit, and I’ll have author events and book clubs as well.

Eventually! Right now, I have to go hook up this thermal label frambus, so while I’m doing that, reminisce about your favorite bookstore experiences from The Before Time so I can learn something. And if you find something you like at the shop, cut yourself a Best Evidence coupon with discount code BestEv22. It’s good for a week, if you want to sit on it until more inventory goes in.

And at herd immunity o’clock this summer, I can’t wait to see some of you guys in person. R train to 77th. I’ll leave the lights on for you. — SDB