Patti Smith, Aleister Crowley, and the mystical Weiser Bookshop!

from Patti Smith’s amazing autobiography Just Kids published by Ecco in January of 2010

“One time, when I was sitting in the lobby reading The Golden Bough, Harry noticed I had a beat-up two-volume first edition. He insisted we go on an expedition to Samuel Weiser’s to bask in the proximity of the preferred and vastly expanded third edition. Weiser’s harbored the greatest selection of books on esoteric matters in the city. I agreed to go if he and Robert didn’t get stoned, as the combination of the three of us in the outside world, in an occult bookstore, was lethal enough.

Harry knew the Weiser brothers quite well, and I was given the key to a glass case to examine the famous 1955 edition…. Harry disappeared into some antechamber with Mr. Weiser, most likely to decipher some mystical manuscript. Robert was reading Diary of a Drug Fiend.

It seemed like we milled around in there for hours. Harry was gone for a long time, and we found him standing, as though transfixed, in the center of the main floor. We watched him for quite a while but he never moved. Finally, Robert, perplexed, went up to him and asked, ‘What are you doing?’

Harry gazed at him with the eyes of an enchanted goat. ‘I’m reading,’ he said.”

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