A Singularity Grows in Brooklyn

We are a household of bibliophiles. Downstairs MGX has curated a small but ever growing library of books. It takes up two rooms and contains around 15,000 books. They range far and wide in topic but MGX’s prize area is her Isaac Asimov collection. It takes up eight shelves.

And we have come to know the scientific law of books. You could say we’ve seen it in action. In mass they create singularities. I don’t know who first pointed that out but I credit Terry Pratchett who reportedly said:

A good bookshop is just a genteel Black Hole that knows how to read.

The owners of a new bookstore in Brooklyn seem to be aware of this law too. The aptly named Singularity & Co has a unique idea and mission. They want to rescue out of print science fiction. Their goal is to “rescue” by bringing back into circulation one sci-fi book a month. It is a great idea and perhaps a blueprint for one way bookstores may survive long term.

Perhaps it is foolhardy to open a new bookstore in an age where the last of the retail book giants are dying off. The Amazon juggernaut has through the Kindle crushed all in its path.

The thing is that Kindles may allow the consumption of pop culture books on a whim. But they are not good platforms for curation. At least not yet.

The folks at Singularity & Co seem to understand that curation is important. They have selected vintage cult titles to tantalize book lovers with. Taking it a step further¬†they’re are encouraging their audience to help select which book to rescue next from a hand picked list of likely candidates. It’s a smart model.

Founded by Cici James, Jamil V. Moen and Ash Kalb, the Singularity & Co has me excited enough that I’m writing this post just after midnight on a Saturday. I would like to make one suggestion, if they happen to read this.

The Harvard Bookstore has carved out a successful model with print on demand. Reader can come in and via the coyly named Paige M. Gutenborg, get a book printed for them in minutes. And relatively inexpensively at that (although the machine itself isn’t cheap).¬†It would be an excellent addition to their model for those pilgrims who wander in and want not just a digital resurrection but a physical one.

Leave a Comment

Creative Commons License by Angel Djambazov is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License. Based on a work at Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available at
ContentRobot Rocks!