EVG Facebook friend Roy Lee shared this photo from the mid-1990s of Bobby 'Books' Brooks, proprietor of Reborn 14, the ramshackle used bookstore that once lived at 238 E. 14th St. between Second Avenue and Third Avenue.
"His store was a mess. I offered more than once to come in and help him straighten it up but he said he knew where everything was," said Roy, who recalled Bobby as part of a late-night group of old-timers who drank at O'Hanlon's.
The store was open from roughly 1987 to the late 1990s. Here's a review of it via The ARChive of Contemporary Music:
Now this is a real junk shop. Books and vinyl smelling of fresh cat pee. Albums as marked inside the covers and singles at $2 reflect pricing while intoxicated. They actually have a toilet in the back which is available to all who can find it. Unique. Recover at the Beauty Bar across the street.
Unique indeed, the kind of store that really can't exist here anymore for several obvious reasons.
"I found a death record that almost has to be him," said Roy. "Still, it would be fun to see who remembers him or his weird little store."