KROETER’S BOOKIES: With his new Web site, Designersandbooks.com, Steve Kroeter is encouraging visitors to take a crash course by reading books that changed big thinkers’ lives. A former Paris Review associate publisher who later served as George Plimpton’s business manager, Kroeter now spends his days writing business and marketing plans for designers as president of Archetype Associates. He first got the idea for the site after seeing a window display of books written and read by President Obama at McNally Jackson Books. To get things rolling he cold called (via e-mail) Ted founder Richard Saul Wurman and Lord Norman Foster, who happily obliged. Eva Zeisel, Richard Meier, Massimo Vignelli, George Lois, Elizabeth Diller and Stefan Sagmeister are among the ranks of 60 bold faced names who have provided nearly 800 titles for the Lisa Strausfeld-designed site. Isaac Mizrahi, Cynthia Rowley and Ralph Rucci have been recruited from the fashion ranks. Mizrahi noted in his picks (which go live Tuesday), “Some of my favorite tables are stacks of books.”
Kroeter, whose wish list includes Frank Gehry and Zaha Hadid, doesn’t see the site solely as a feel-good pursuit. “I’m looking at this as a place to go see which books have inspired creative minds and people who have designed the world,” he said. “Books can not only be an opportunity for a great conversation but they can be an opportunity for a great argument as well.