Bookstores of All Sizes Struggling in Manhattan

Manhattan has long been one of—if not the—centers of the literary universe. What does it mean for the borough if bookstores—independent or otherwise—can no longer afford the rent?
March 28, 2014, 9am PDT | James Brasuell | @CasualBrasuell
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Julie Bosman reports on the tough real estate market for bookstores in Manhattan. “Rising rents in Manhattan have forced out many retailers, from pizza joints to flower shops. But the rapidly escalating cost of doing business there is also driving out bookstores, threatening the city’s sense of self as the center of the literary universe, the home of the publishing industry and a place that lures and nurtures authors and avid readers.”

Among the victims to the cost of doing business on the island: the Rizzoli Bookstore on 57th Street, the Bank Street Bookstore in Morningside Heights, and “Independents like Coliseum Books, Shakespeare and Company on the Upper West Side, Endicott Booksellers and Murder Ink…”

And it’s not just independent bookstores struggling, reports Bosman. “Since 2007, five Barnes & Noble stores throughout Manhattan have closed, including its former flagship store on Fifth Avenue and 18th Street, which was shuttered in January. Five Borders stores in Manhattan were closed in 2011 when the chain went bankrupt, vacating huge spaces on Park Avenue, near Penn Station and in the Shops at Columbus Circle.”

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Published on Tuesday, March 25, 2014 in New York Times
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