David Murphy

740 Richmond Street

When the Oxford Book Store was at 740 Richmond Street, it had a large stationary section at the back. David Murphy enjoyed seeing all of the different cards, notebooks, and pens. But even more than that, he remembers the pleasure afforded by the paper-and-ink smells that accompanied them.


Walk to the corner and look across the street to the east side of Richmond Street. Across the street, half was up the block to the north, you will notice a red brick building with a round window on its second story. That building is 740 Richmond Street, and it was built specifically to house the Oxford Book Shop. In the following story, David Murphy recalls the pleasant smell of the stationary section.


One of the things that… the feeling I got being in a camera store like Stan C. Reade’s, I also got the feeling in Oxford Books in their stationery section because they had a great supply of stationery cards, notebooks, pens, pencils, all those things, office supplies. There’s almost a fetish about that stuff—it feels good to have it and to to use it. And maybe that makes me a little bit old fashioned, but I prefer to write onto a piece of paper than onto a computer. Although I do type, of course, but… You would go and you could buy books, calendars. And then just kind of drift back to the beautiful smells of the stationery department. The paper: quite nice quality paper. There was kind of an overriding paper and ink smell to the place—which makes sense, it’s a bookstore—but that never left, I can still smell it right now. I can evoke that smell.


If you’d like to hear more stories about The Village, another Hear, Here sign is located across Richmond Street on the north side of Piccadilly.