Unnameable Books in Prospect Heights, Brooklyn, is moving a block away from its current location at 600 Vanderbilt Avenue to 615 Vanderbilt Avenue over the next couple of weeks. The store has been closed since New Year's Eve, and will reopen when the move is completed, by mid-January.
“The owner wants to do something else with the building,” owner Adam Tobin said.
Unnameable was founded in 2006 in Park Slope as Adam’s Books, but Tobin changed the name when the Adams Book Company threatened to sue him. The store, which has been housed on Vanderbilt Avenue for the past 12 years, is known for its inventory of poetry titles and other books published by small indie presses as well as used books that are a mix of the rare, the obscure, and the esoteric.
The owner also is well-known in New York City literary circles for his advocacy for brick-and-mortar bookstores. Unnameable Books was featured on the cover of the New Yorker magazine in 2008, when cartoonist Adrian Tomine (who lived above the store at the time) depicted it as a scrappy indie persevering against great odds, especially the growth of Amazon.
Noting that the current bookstore is officially 1,000 square feet, “although it’s actually less,” Tobin said that the new location in a building owned by his current landlord is slightly larger and features a private backyard. “It gives us a little more breathing room,” Tobin said, explaining that there is an area that will be transformed into a “poetry room,” and that poetry readings will be held in the yard.
"Nothing is going to change drastically, operationally,” Tobin said. “It will be as if someone had taken a crane, lifted the store up from its old space, and deposited it into the new space.”