Cleo Le-Tan is not a pet owner, but she does own a bookstore dedicated to them! On September 15, she opened the doors to what she calls “the first animal-focused bookshop in New York.” The store is called Pillow-Cat Books, and it is located on East 9th Street in Manhattan.
Le-Tan states that all her life she had been surrounded by pets and books. All of her favorite book characters are animals, and she even states, “I do have all these technical books on poodle grooming and it just makes me want a poodle.” Though she has had pets all of her life, she wants to wait until her children are old enough so they can pick one out themselves!
Pet owners and their companions are welcomed into the shop with a variety of treats, and animals of the fictional variety make a home on the store’s shelves.
I’ve always been surrounded by books, and I wrote a whole book about bookshops. I thought it would be so nice to have my own.Cleo Le-Tan, Owner of Pillow-Cat Books
Le-Tan did not do this alone. She had the help of her entire family to create the shop. Her sister, Olympia Le-Tan, helped design the store logo and the mascot. She even will eventually illustrate the Pillow-Cat series of stories that are in the works by Cleo Le-Tan.
There is a common misconception that this is a kid’s bookstore, however to these customer inquiries Le-Tan simply replies, “No, it’s just got animals.” Have no fear, though. “Hello Kitty” and “Babar” have their rightful spots reserved on the shelves. As well as books on the mating processes of animals.
The principle and guiding theme of the store is that an animal or animal character must be present. Otherwise, there is too much room for interpretation on what the store is really about. The shelves are organized by species, as well as the store’s website. Dogs occupy most of the shelves. Such as 101 Dalmatians, Winery Dogs of Sonoma, and Mikail Bulgakov’s Heart of a Dog. Additionally, there are books on both extinct and animals of fantasy, such as dragons and unicorns. Even still, Le-Tan is still on the hunt to fill the gaps. She expresses with some concern, “I didn’t know what a manatee was, and then this girl came in who wanted flamingo books. I feel stressed out now that I might be missing animals.”
In due time, this store may turn into an animal encyclopedia! Regardless, it is going to be exciting to watch this store grow and flourish into Le-Tan’s dream bookstore. Be sure to check up on Pillow-Cat’s website for updates, and if you’re ever in Manhattan and are an avid reader be sure to stop into this unique little bookshop.
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