After a spate of setbacks and slowdowns, St. Mark’s Bookshop has reopened in its new digs at 136 East Third Street. It’s the beloved book store’s fourth iteration since opening in the East Village in 1977. It had been at its previous spot off of Third Avenue since 1992.
Though smaller, this new location has none of the former’s slightly cramped feel. Jed Russell, a longtime employee, attributes that to the white, undulating bookshelves. “There’s a good flow to the layout,” he says, explaining that the curving shelf to one side is designed to allow space for a hidden office.
Russell, who was working the sales desk when B+B stopped by, was glad to be done with the transition period. “It was a bit hectic,” he said of the move. “One thing goes wrong, and then the whole thing is set back.”
All the shelves aren’t yet filled, since the book store hasn’t yet received a new shipment and is instead working with the transferred stock. They should be receiving more books in the next couple days. They’re also currently running on slightly reduced hours: noon to 10 p.m. (opening later and shutting earlier than previously).
Nevertheless, book enthusiasts can rest assured that the institution is back up and running, with its usual eclectic mix of reading material.
One book featured prominently is , a compilation edited by Ronald Rice in which writers select and write about their favorite bookstores. St. Mark’s is, of course, featured. “The St. Mark’s Bookshop is a crossroads for the serendipitous and the unplanned,” writes novelist and regular Arthur Nersesian. It is “meritocracy in action,” he writes: a place where one might discover, by chance, any number of wonderful things.
Click through the slideshow to see the new spot.