Earlier this month, the Novoye Russkoye Slovo ran a profile of Irina Taic, proprietor of Knizhnyj Magazin № 21, Manhattan’s only Russian bookstore (NRS: Fatal Attraction. To Books).
Born in Kiev, Taic emigrated to the US in the early 1990s. She opened the store on Fifth Avenue near 23rd street about two years ago. Many will remember that long-time Russian bookseller Viktor Kamkin was in the same area but closed several years ago. Tais told NRS that she was running her bookstore a bit smarter: its second-floor space carries a lower rent, and the only employees are her and her daughter.
Another trick up Tais’s sleeve is the fact that she regularly holds events at the store, which helps to make the public aware of the shop’s offerings. “The first one to come was Solomon Volkov,” she told the NRS. “So many people showed up that there was nowhere to stand. The shop wasn’t even finished yet. Books weren’t on the shelves yet. But we brought in several hundred dollars that night anyway.”