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A must for travel lovers and book lovers

Posted by Chris Murphy  December 8, 2008 06:38 AM

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Just when you thought the world was being taken over by big-box retailers, here's something to restore your faith in humanity: the return of the small bookstore. Idlewild Books, a second-floor storefront at 12 W. 19th St. just north of Union Square in Manhattan's Flatiron District, specializes in world literature, globes, maps, and travel accessories. The cool thing is that all the books are organized by geography, not by genre. Fiction and nonfiction books are grouped together by country. So in the Vietnam section, for instance, Vietnam travel guides and phrasebooks are shelved next to Graham Greene's "The Quiet American" and novels by Vietnamese writers. Owner David Del Vecchio knows a little something about organizing things geographically: he's a former United Nations press officer who has traveled to more than 50 countries and has lived in Spain, Italy, the Czech Republic, and South Africa. And in case you were wondering, the name Idlewild was taken from the original name for New York International Airport, which was renamed JFK in December 1963. The bookstore is open 11-8 p.m. Monday-Friday and noon-7 Saturday-Sunday.

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  • Eric Wilbur, Boston.com staff
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  • Patricia Borns, a frequent contributor to Globe Travel, writes and photographs travel, maritime, and historical narratives as well as blogs and books.
  • Patricia Harris, a regular contributor to Globe Travel, is author or co-author of more than 20 books on travel, food, and popular culture.
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  • Chris Klein is a regular contributor to Globe Travel. His latest book is "The Die-Hard Sports Fan's Guide to Boston."
  • David Lyon, a regular contributor to Globe Travel, is author or co-author of more than 20 books on travel, food, and popular culture.
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