The St. Mark’s Bookshop opened in 1977 on New York’s Lower East Side and has become a well-loved cultural establishment, attracting and embracing a devoted following inside its literature-lined walls. Bibliophiles cite the shop’s vast collection of unique tomes as well as its cozy-but-cultured atmosphere as reasons to frequent the shop--indeed, it has become a haven for students and famous authors alike. Now, though, the bookstore is involved in its own cliffhanger plot--no longer able to afford their rent in the Cooper Union building they’ve called home for years, they may be forced to close. In an era when a mega-bookstore like Borders can go under completely, it’s a frightening prospect for the independent shop.
Scott Stringer, president of the Borough of Manhattan, has written a letter to the president of Cooper Union college, urging the school to revise the bookshop’s lease. A petition has already been circulating to save St. Mark’s Bookshop, and is just shy of its goal of 30,000 signatures. I urge you, trusty BUSTies, to sign the petition (after all, St. Mark’s Bookshop sells our magazine) and to buy a book from the shop. As you may already know, sometimes just one book can make a big difference. St. Mark’s has plenty of publications you’ll love, and you’ll feel good knowing that you’re helping keep a New York icon alive. If you can’t make it into the store, you can peruse and purchase online at St. Mark’s website. In the meantime, Cooper Union officials have agreed to meet with the owners of the bookstore to discuss their options, so it seems that the petition has already accomplished something.
Visit St. Mark's Bookshop at 31 Third Avenue, New York, NY 10003; you can tell 'em we sent you, but be sure to thank them for their contribution to New York's creative consciousness.
New York Daily News
The Village Voice
Title image via NYTimes The Local: East Village
The opinions expressed on the BUST blog are those of the authors themselves and do not necessarily reflect the position of BUST Magazine or its staff.