Soho Books Unlimited offers titles in Architecture and Photography, but I'm only interested in the Fashion. Ash likens his job of selling books to "coming out of a cave" and describes the whole process as "therapeutic". I asked him if there was any significance to being located in Soho. He explained to me that he felt inside that Soho was, and is, the art capital. That surrounded by culture and history, it was the place to do it.
As you all know, I am always in the process of collecting books to build a Fashion library. One of my favorite spots to acquire them is in Soho on the corner of Prince and Mercer. Meet Larry Ash, the owner of Soho Books Unlimited. I often stop by to peruse the selection and after a little bit of coaxing, Mr. Ash was gracious enough to grant me an interview.
Originally from Sugar Hill, the historic home to such greats as Langston Hughes and Duke Ellington, Ash has been selling books for 17 years. As an English Literature and Photography student, he had dreams of becoming a photo journalist, but found himself working a dead end job. Along his daily travels, he would often admire men he says were selling great books along the street. Unfortunately, or fortunately, Ash was fired from his job and decided to take a different path.
I love to buy his books and have a chat with Ash about what's new in the Fashion world, but what I love most is the fantastic selection. I mean this guy has books I've never even heard of, including one that was autographed by the author that was "not for sale". Ash offers the books at deeply discounted prices and says he does so to be competitive. If you're in the market for Fashion literature, make sure you stop by and see Mr. Ash. He can be found at the intersection everyday, weather permitting.
PHOTOS BY ADC