"We Are New York Indie Booksellers" is a shared project by Franck Bohbot (photographs) and Philippe Ungar (interviews), "a pair of bibliophilic Frenchmen who met and befriended each other in Brooklyn" and have showcased 50 New York indie booksellers in a series of portraits, the Guardian reported.
They "have taken great pleasure in traveling across the city, to neighborhoods in every borough, to meet and photograph booksellers in their habitats," the Guardian wrote. "Despite their diversity, the way their distinct personalities and passions are reflected and amplified in their shops, they are all, says Ungar, 'looking for the same thing--a generous vision of sharing culture.' "
He added that a "bookstore is much more than a bookstore, it's much more than selling books. It's a public shelter. Whoever you are, you don't have to buy anything, they won't ask you for your ID. You're free--you can stay for hours and browse. There's a generosity, an optimism. And that's what we wanted to enhance."
Although no one is getting rich as an indie bookseller, everyone they spoke with professed contentment. "Everyone," Ungar stressed. "Every bookseller says: 'I'm happy.' "
"They are heroes of their neighborhood, monuments of their neighborhood," added Bohbot, who "sought to shoot them accordingly, with dramatic, dimmed lighting and cinematic composition in which the subject is alone, surrounded by their books," the Guardian wrote.