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Pictures dated 1975 and 2003
Click images to enlarge
Click here to view a slideshow of the Austin Street Book Store.
The Austin Book Shop -
by MICHAEL TITOWSKY
Cont'd from last page
] But the Austin Book Shop was much more than a bookstore; it was a social club of sorts and a neighborhood institution. On Friday and Saturday afternoons, friends and customers would gather in the shop to drink a glass of wine or two and to talk about literature, sports or local politics. The store's small but fiercely loyal following continued to gather regularly, even after Bernie's lease ran out in 1984 and the business moved to 104-29 Jamaica Avenue, in neighboring Richmond Hill.
After the move, the store slowly developed a specialty in books on baseball, eventually accumulating the largest collection in the country of out of print books on the national past time. The store gained much notoriety as a result; features on the Austin Book Shop were broadcast on ESPN and the syndicated show "This Week in Baseball." There was even an article on the store in GQ magazine, much to everyone's amusement, as Bernie was one of the worst dressers you could ever imagine.
Rita Titowsky passed away in 1986, but Bernard Titowsky continued running the Austin Book Shop until his death in 1993. The store is still in business, at its Jamaica Avenue location.
1975 photograph courtesy of Barbara Titowsky Krysko
2003 photograph by Michael Jovishoff