For my forthcoming book, Footnotes from the World’s Greatest Bookstores (Clarkson Potter, Oct.), I spent two years lovingly illustrating shops across the globe, working from a list based on recommendations, research, and personal experience. During this time I also collected stories about each store from owners, employees, customers, and my favorite people—a list comprising today’s greatest artists and thinkers. Some inspired me growing up, and some, like David Bowie and Robin Williams, recently left us.

In the end, I had 150 shops and more than 300 stories to choose from: tales of romance, stories of scandal, hilarious anecdotes—too much to fit in my book. Cutting the list in half to 75 bookstores was heartbreaking and difficult, so here I share a couple of great bookstores that wound up on the cutting-room floor, along with one that made it in.

Bob Eckstein is a writer and New Yorker cartoonist. His newest book, Footnotes from the World’s Greatest Bookstores, will be published by Clarkson Potter in October.