They have found books about Haiti for the director Jonathan Demme. The Vanity Fair writer Anthony Haden-Guest had them track down a Sotheby's catalogue from the 1970s.
Illustrated books have been located and shipped to the Walt Disney animation department. And one of Ralph Lauren's assistants, Maggie Norris, recently found an obscure heraldry book there.The word is out among fashionable bookworms: If you are searching for an elusive tome - or if you just want to browse through the only bookstore in New York City with views of both the Chrysler Building and the World Trade Center - visit the Antiquarian Book Arcade.
On the ninth floor of the Chelsea Antiques Building (110 W. 25th Street), the arcade is not a typical used-book store. Flooded with enough natural light to double as a photographer's daylight studio, the 2,000-square-foot loft is, in a word, civilized. Cramped aisles, indifferent sales people and unorganized shelves are conspicuously absent.
"We've gone to great lengths to make the space comfortable for our customers," said Myrna Adolph Morris, who with her husband, Ronald Morris, opened the arcade eight months ago.
"We're here because we love to sell books."
The Antiquarian Book Arcade is the only book-dealer consortium in New York City. Sixty-five dealers - from Key West, Fla., to London - are represented. If a title is not available in the 17,000-volume inventory, a free book search will be conducted.
Before the arcade existed, "the only opportunity for a buyer to meet a number of sellers in one place was to attend an antiquarian book fair," said Michael Fillarmen, a dealer in architectural books who rents space from the Morrises. He added, "But now, the city has a permanent book fair right in the middle of Chelsea."