Curation is the key to quality. It's the difference between a disc jockey and an iPod on shuffle mode. It brings order to chaos. It allows the best things to stand out in a way that makes sense.
Curated in probably the best way to describe Faulkner House Books. Perhaps, curated to a fault. This isn't a place you go to explore the unknown. It's where you go to fill in the gaps in your knowledge. To buy important books by important people. To re-read all the things you were assigned to read in high school, but were too young to appreciate.
There probably isn't a bad book in the entire store, which is both a blessing and a curse. It's good to know that no matter what you buy, your money won't be wasted. But at the same time, the only kind of undiscovered fringe writers you will find are people who were undiscovered and fringe half a century ago, and are now so mainstream their books are covered in school.
I ended up with Soldier's Pay, because it's the book that William Faulkner wrote when he lived in this building, which is why Faulkner House Books is called Faulkner House Books. It's a good book, once you burrow through the first few chapters and get used to the writing style. In high school I was given the choice of a Hemingway book and a Faulkner book, and I chose Hemingway. Now my education is complete.