St Marks Bookshop 136 E. 3rd St

St Marks Bookshop 136 E. 3rd St

Interested in owning a piece of the new St. Mark’s Bookshop? Now might just be your chance. In another call-for-help email sent out earlier today, owner Bob Contant made a public appeal for support to help fund the “rebirth of the bookstore.”

Having relocated to its current spot at 136 East 3rd Street barely a year ago, it seems the long-suffering shop was “undercapitalized for the cost of the move.” Since then, mounting costs have meant the very worst thing for a proprietor of printed works: “understocked shelves.” Potential investments would go toward “reorganizing and restructuring the business with an eye to long term viability,” according to Contant. If you’re a supporter of independent bookstores and have a couple dollars to throw around, take a look at the full email below.

Dear Friend of St. Mark’s Bookshop:

As you know, we moved into our present location at 136 E. 3rd Street one year ago. We love our new space. It recently won the American Institute of Architects award for Interior Design.

Unfortunately, we were undercapitalized for the cost of the move. We were forced out of our old space before our new one was ready, and the cost of going into storage plus construction overruns left little money with which to buy inventory. Those of you who have visited our new store in recent months may have noticed the understocked shelves.  

For 37 years St. Mark’s Bookshop has been a beacon of culture in the East Village, attracting people from across the city, the nation, and around the world. We remain committed to providing a showcase for the life of the mind as expressed by the best books and periodicals being published today, as well as stocking the best of the past. We hold readings and events you cannot find elsewhere. To continue in our mission we need people who value our work and goals to help us.

Please consider buying an ownership interest in a new St. Mark’s Bookshop. We have been approached by an investor who is interested in funding a rebirth of the bookstore, reorganizing and restructuring the business with an eye to long term viability. He is looking for others to join him in an investment team. Please contact me if this prospect interests you.

So many people have told us that they need us here in the East Village. We want to continue to serve you and the world of thought and literature. Please help to make that possible, and as always, we appreciate your continued support.

Yours sincerely,

Bob Contant

The store’s previous location off of Third Avenue remains vacant, though its landlord Cooper Union has hosted the occasional student art exhibit inside.