04 June 2009

NYC: Another indie bookstore bids goodbye

Don't know how I missed this since it's my neighborhood, but the Morningside Bookshop is no more. From the last newsletter:
So, raise a glass to the ghosts of bookstores past: Gotham Book Mart, Coliseum, Oscar Wilde, Hacker Art Books, Eyore’s, Ivy, Murder Ink, Librería Lectorum, Old Shakespeare and Co., Bloomsday, Different Light, Bookmasters, Walden, Doubleday’s, Scribner’s, Rizzoli, Spring Street Books, and the Fourth Avenue Bookstore Row. To all those other shops that have gone before us, we salute you. We have tried to be the little bookshop that could. We couldn’t. Not for lack of effort; it’s about money – we never had enough.
The store owners were paying $9,000 in rent to Columbia University according to the New York Times and let me tell you, it is not a big place. Some are criticizing the university for not granting an abatement on back rent.

Morningside Bookshop is survived locally by Book Culture (née Labyrinth Books) which may be taking over the lease if allowed.


Wade Garrett said...

That's unfortunate, particularly since that book store seems to have been an important institution in the Morningside Heights community. I hate to see any independent bookstores close, but some are more important to their neighborhoods than others. In Brooklyn, the closing of Book Court would effect people a lot more than the closing of the Park Slope Community Bookstore. Morningside seems to really matter to people, and it is sad to see it go.

Ellen said...

What the article really gets right about Morningside was that it was much more of a community store than academic -- for its size it had a great selection, and it was very easy to find what you were looking for. But keeping all that stock couldn't have helped the bottom line, and students buying books for pleasure reading probably just added them to what they were picking up at the campus B&N.

Still haven't been out to Book Court yet. Someday.