Title: On The Books
Author: Greg Farrell
Publisher: Microcosm Publishing
Full Disclosure: Bought
Book Description: On the Books is the firsthand comic strip account of the labor struggle at New York City’s legendary Strand bookstore in the summer of 2012. Told by Greg Farrell—an employee of the store who interviewed numerous other staff members—the book examines the motives and actions of those involved, including the management, the staff, the union local, and the people of New York City. Through interstitial comic portraits, Farrell gives voice to his comrades, who often share a nuance of the story that would have otherwise gone overlooked, and provide a depth of opinion and fairness to accompany Farrell’s often very personal interpretation of events. The book explores at once the inner workings of our national retail environment, the struggles as a young working person, and the current state of the book trade.
My Review: For those of you who know/known me in real life and on tumblr… This is a completely important, brilliant and informative non-fiction work. Greg is indeed a coworker of mine and I am one of the Tier Two employees here. This may sound dumb, but our struggle is real. I often joke openly to my fellow coworkers and managers that being at Strand is like being at School again. Between the level of drama and being scheduled lunch, daily tasks etc… is like being treated as a child again.
I admit writing this isn’t easy, because embarrassingly I am afraid of the potential consequences that it could stir up where I work. However, time to be brave and supportive. Greg nailed it. He’s a primary source to what happened in the last contract negotiations, he did extensive research from primary and secondary sources for other events in the Strand’s and the Union’s history and at no point, did I feel like his criticism was unfair. I think if you love the Strand and it’s employees you need to read this. I think if you’re a New Yorker you need to read this. I think if you are human you need to read this. You can pick up copies of his book from him at Strand and Forbidden Planet also sells copies.
Overall Rating: 7/7