Here’s an interesting thing about Bob Holman’s appearance tomorrow at the St. Mark’s Bookshop: on the reading’s Facebook page, Holman commented, “This will be the summer closer, the Last Party Ever For the store at this location.”
Indeed it’s the only upcoming event posted on the store’s calendar.
So is the bookshop finally up and moving? Bob Contant confirms that he and his partner Terry McCoy are currently in negotiation for a new lease. They have yet to sign the paperwork, so Contant didn’t want to go into specifics about the new location — but he confirms that they will be staying in the East Village.
You already know the reason for the move: “The rent was just too expensive where we are,” Contant explained wearily. “But I can’t tell you anything else because I don’t have a lease yet. I don’t want to jinx it.”
Not even Holman knows where the shop is moving. “They have a new spot, but they won’t tell me where it is,” he told us. “It’s in the neighborhood, with a better rent — that’s all I know.”
Asked about his Facebook comment, he explained, “They haven’t been booking any more shows, because they don’t know exactly when [the lease will be signed]. There’s some ambiguity. But I’m leaving on September 3rd for a month, so we booked this while we had a chance. Who knows, maybe there will be another last reading? But right now, this is the last scheduled event to happen in this location.”
Holman’s association with the store goes back to the days when it was located on St. Marks Place and, he said, Gregory Corso would come in to announce, “I’m Gregory Corso, and I’m hungry! Can’t someone take me out! And get me some dinner!?”
Over the past few years, the shop has undergone a much publicized struggle to keep afloat amidst rising rent costs. In 2011, on the heels of a petition signed by more than 40,000 people, the Little Bookshop That Could won the fight to have its landlord, Cooper Union, lower its rent by $2,500. After the reduction ran out last November, they crowd-sourced donations through Luckyant.com in order to help raise the $23,000 needed to finance a move to a cheaper location.
Last year McCoy told The Local, “Moving is our only route of survival.”
Additional reporting by Phillip Pantuso