Ben McFall: “He incarnated the Strand bookstore’s erudite but easygoing spirit”

From a New York Times obit by Alex Traub headlined “Ben McFall, ‘the Heart of the Strand,’ Is Dead at 73”:

Ben McFall, the longest-tenured bookseller in the history of the Strand, New York’s renowned bookstore, who for decades peered above his spectacles at a line of acolytes, tourists and young colleagues for whom he incarnated the store’s erudite but easygoing spirit, died at his home in Jersey City, N.J.

Jim Behrle, his partner, said the cause was a fall. He added that Mr. McFall suffered from pulmonary fibrosis, which had recently rendered him nearly bedridden.

Siobhán O’Grady: “How a Cairo Bookshop Beat the Odds to Write Its Own Story”

From a Washington Post story by Siobhán O’Grady headlined “How a Cairo bookshop beat the odds to write its own story”:

CAIRO — Outside on a busy thoroughfare, crowds bustle, taxis honk and police officers try to control the uncontrollable traffic.

But inside a cozy bookshop nestled on one Cairo corner, coffee cups steam and quiet reigns.

For nearly 20 years, Diwan Bookstore has offered a respite from the chaos of daily life in the Egyptian capital, persevering through economic downturns, a revolution, a military coup, a crackdown on freedom of expression and a pandemic.