Fred Bass, owner of New York’s Strand bookstore, interviewed.
The Afterword Episode 27: Fred Bass, owner of New York’s Strand bookstore, interviewed, Interviewed
Conversations with writers.
Dec. 20 2012 8:30 AM

The Man With 18 Miles of Books

An interview with Fred Bass, owner of New York’s Strand bookstore.


 Listen to Episode 27 of The Afterword:

June Thomas June Thomas

June Thomas is a Slate culture critic and editor of Outward, Slate’s LGBTQ section. 

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Fred Bass has worked for more than 60 years at New York’s Strand bookstore, which his father, Ben Bass, founded in 1927. In this interview he talks about how the Internet has affected the used-book business, how unionizing the workforce has been good for the store, and how sidelines—like the famous Strand tote bags—now make up more than 15 percent of the store’s sales. The discussion lasts about 22 minutes.

The Afterword, which appears in the Slate daily podcast feed every other Thursday, features interviews with the authors of new nonfiction books. The next episode will feature Jacob Tomsky, author of Heads in Beds: A Reckless Memoir of Hotels, Hustles, and So-Called Hospitality. It will be available on Jan. 3.

The show’s email address is

The podcast is produced by June Thomas. The executive producer of Slate’s podcasts is Andy Bowers.