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John McWhinnie sifting through Richard Merkin's archives in 2010, photo by Duncan Hannah

John McWhinnie

by Charlie Finch

The loss of book dealer, promoter, collector and champion John McWhinnie in a water accident last weekend at a young age is a devastating one to those who love books, especially old books, which, these days, is just about every book. The smell of the paper, the design of the cover, the tattered pages and convenient cocktail napkin employed as a bookmark, all experiences before the reading, remain the hallmarks of John, as presentable and gracious a fellow as ever walked Park Avenue.


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