On the Books

Here’s a little story about the little publishing house that could.

One writer and one artist with zero book business experience open Melville House (in Hoboken, no less) to publish obscure literary fiction, nonfiction, and poetry. The end?

Hardly. Direct hits early on (Poetry After 9/11, Who Killed Daniel Pearl?) have Melville House chug-chug-chugging away.

Next stop: DUMBO, where an industrial shop becomes 2,000 square feet of office, bookstore, and event space. Socially/politically/religiously hefty titles are cranked out in the back; high-designy finished products are stacked on wooden tables and spinning bookshelves that hide spines during parties. (Indie event producers are encouraged to inquire.)

Already in the works: ten-minute lunchtime talks and unconventional author readings. For tomorrow’s opening, linguist Elizabeth Little explores dead words, made-up words, and words lost in translation.

Can they keep the neighborhood all aboard?

We think they can.

Melville House, 145 Plymouth Street, at Pearl Street, DUMBO (718-722-9204 or mhpbooks.com). Shop opens Saturday, at noon. Opening party, 6 p.m.