Meet Ezra Goldstein, the Oracle of Literary Brooklyn Community

Park Slope Bookstore Co-Owner Is More Than Merchant

Full Circle: Ezra Goldstein became a writer instead of going into the family business. He later left writing to run his own bookstore, in the literati-rich Brooklyn neighborhood of Park Slope.
lisa amand
Full Circle: Ezra Goldstein became a writer instead of going into the family business. He later left writing to run his own bookstore, in the literati-rich Brooklyn neighborhood of Park Slope.

By Lisa Amand

Published October 02, 2013, issue of October 04, 2013.
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“They didn’t have the book on their shelves. Normally I wouldn’t say anything — I’m not very good at self-promotion — but it was my neighborhood store… and I thought it would be sad for both of us if our local friends couldn’t purchase it.

“So I walked up to the counter and said, ‘Ezra, I have a book coming out tomorrow and you don’t have it.’ He was very sweet and totally mortified, explaining that he hadn’t worked the kinks out of the ordering process yet. Needless to say, he had the book in the window within 24 hours.”

The store’s scope is by no means limited to the borough. Kelly Braffet, daughter-in-law of Stephen King, visited Community Bookstore in August with her Goldstein-acclaimed novel, “Save Yourself.” He was equally effusive about former Park Slope resident and Pulitzer Prize winner Elizabeth Strout, who read at the store’s offsite venue, Congregation Beth Elohim. Pulitzer Prize winner Michael Chabon will be at the synagogue on October 3 for the paperback launch of his most recent novel, “Telegraph Avenue.”

Not only are some of Goldstein’s customers major writers, his staff is made up of published scribes, a fact that makes him beam with pride. Yet that’s not a requirement for employment: “You just have to love books and read a lot, and really enjoy putting books into people’s hands.”

Lisa Amand is a James Beard Award-winning writer. Find her on Twitter @Imnofoodie


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