Starting this Wednesday, May 5th, I will be opening "Rob's Word Shop" for the month of May. Rob's Word Shop is a storefront shop where individual letters and words can be purchased. Single letters are 50 cents and single words are 1 dollar. As the sole proprietor of the store, I invite you personally to stop by for a chat and buy a letter or a word. These chats will be recorded and, with your permission, collected in a book form at the end of the month. My shop location is 308 Bowery (the south window at the Bowery Poetry Club), and my hours of operation are Tuesday through Thursday 11-2PM from May 5-May 27.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

May 5, 2010 - Day 1 at Rob's Word Shop
Left apartment at 10 AM. Picked up computer printer from friend's house at 10:15.
Took taxi to 308 Bowery ($4.50) and arrived at 10:45. Set up printer, completed signage and opened at 11:00. First 2 customers arrived at 11:10. Together they ordered a combination of single words, multiple words, and letters for a total of $26.00. For this first customer, my record-keeping was disorganized and I do not have a record of their purchases (but I will be requesting this information from them directly and I will post it when I receive it). My second customer arrived around 11:50AM. This customer purchased 2 words for $2: "interpolate" and "selfhood." Third customer arrived at 1:30 and purchased 1 word for $1: "escape." This customer sought consultation in choosing her word. Closed the shop at 2:00PM. Walked home and arrived at 2:15 PM. Total sales: $29.00


  1. Rob,
    I'm eager to know what words and letters your customers are purchasing.
    Have you thought of charging more for some than others?
    Does purchased ownership of a word bestow special rights and privileges?
    Joan Retallack

  2. Dear Ms. Retallack,

    There have been a few inquiries about which words are being purchased, so I think I will update my posts to include information as to which specific words and letters are being bought. To answer your second question, I prefer a democracy of words and letters, where all words costs the same, so that "the" is just as valuable as "antidisestablishmentarianism." There are no special privileges that I bestow upon the purchaser, and, in fact, my stock is unlimited and a customer can purchase a letter or word that has already been purchased. Today, by the way, several mail orders were completed.

    Rob's Word Shop