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AUDIO: A conversation with Matt Tannenbaum of 'Hello, Bookstore'
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AUDIO: A conversation with Matt Tannenbaum of 'Hello, Bookstore'

After nearly a half-century running The Bookstore in Lenox, Matt Tannenbaum is both a renowned bookseller and a tireless, entertaining raconteur.
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In this episode of the Berkshire Argus podcast, Bill Shein speaks with Matt Tannenbaum, proprietor—since 1976—of The Bookstore in Lenox, Massachusetts, and subject of the 2022 documentary, “Hello, Bookstore.”

Tannenbaum recalls learning the book trade as a stock boy at the storied Gotham Book Mart in midtown Manhattan and working for a book distributor in Washington, D.C., before following some artist friends to the Berkshires in 1975. Dreams of becoming a writer took a back seat when he purchased The Bookstore in 1976, just days before his 30th birthday.

You’ll also hear about the making of the documentary—which was well underway when COVID-19 arrived—and Tannenbaum’s philosophy of curating a bookstore for an engaged community in the era of discount stores and Amazon.com.

(A free screening of “Hello, Bookstore” will be held at 7:00 p.m. on Saturday, February 3, 2024, at Mason Library in Great Barrington. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. for refreshments. A talk-back with Tannenbaum and director Adam Zax follows the film.)


Matt Tannenbaum in January, 2024. (Bill Shein/Berkshire Argus)


A list of books purchased at Gotham Book Mart by reclusive author J.D. Salinger in October, 1971, while Tannenbaum worked nearby. (Bill Shein/Berkshire Argus)

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The Berkshire Argus
The Berkshire Argus Podcast
In-depth interviews, audio reporting, and more from The Berkshire Argus.