NEW YORK (FOX5NY.COM) - Strand bookstore was buzzing Wednesday night as book lovers stopped in to pick up a paperback or thumb through the classics. But not far from their minds was the news that Fred Bass—the man who built this amazing maze—passed at the age of 89.
In 1956, Bass inherited a used bookstore and hoped to transform it into a book emporium. Today it occupies more than 55,000 square feet and houses 2.5 million titles covering 18 miles of books.
From today's bestsellers to first editions and rarities like a second Folio of Shakespeare, which sold for $100,000.
Hardly a day passed where he wasn't sifting through books in the back of the store or sitting outside by the dollar carts—and visitors noticed.
Fred's daughter Nancy, the store's co-owner, released a statement.
"For over 30 years, I have had the privilege of working alongside of my dad managing the store," Nancy Bass Wyden said in the statement. "He never had an office and loved when customers told him they enjoyed 'getting lost in the stacks.' He spent all of his time behind his buying desk, eager to see what treasures would come across it. He felt working with books was the best job in the world."
Bass always had a hoped of owning a big bookstore and he got what he wanted. Strand is one of the largest bookstores in all the world. To honor his legacy, folks at Strand are planning a public memorial in the weeks to come.