Last we checked in with Shakespeare & Co., it wasn’t ready to comment about rumors of a “possible closure.” Now manager Margot Liddell confirms that the bookstore can’t afford the current rent — an undisclosed figure that she said is triple what it used to pay. But it isn’t ready to admit defeat.
“The store has been for rent for a year,” said Liddell, adding that from her count, the landlord has been through at least three realtors. “No one has rented the space. So we’re here until we’re not. We’re not going anywhere until something happens and that’s the truth.” More →
There’s real estate news from three of the city’s book-selling institutions.
The rumors about Shakespeare & Co.’s possible closure are getting harder to ignore. The space that houses the decades-old bookstore, at 716 Broadway, is available for lease, said Brendan Gotch, director of retail leasing for Massey Knakal, who is handling the listing. More →
St. Mark’s Bookshop launched another fundraiser this week, this time aiming to draw $50,000 via Indiegogo. So what’s the latest with the bookshop’s attempt to relocate? Co-owner Bob Contant doesn’t want to say until he has a lease in hand, but he did reveal that the Bookshop has seen three previous deals fall through. More →
The new South Village Historic District. (Map: Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation)
While the St. Mark’s Bookshop has extended its auction to Dec. 22, Faculty Against the Sexton Plan’s fundraising auction is now over, and someone has paid a whopping $9,950 for an hour-and-a-half-long acting lesson with Philip Seymour Hoffman. For that kind of dough, you presumably have the right to request a sex scene (sorry for that image). More →
Speaking of auctions involving Richard Hell, the St. Mark’s Bookshop, as you know, held a live auction Thursday to raise funds for its move to a smaller location in the East Village. Though 11 books, including Music of Chance by Paul Auster and Drown by Junot Diaz, were up for grabs, a Baggage Battles-style bidding war didn’t exactly ensue: the event drew just a dozen people, and brought in a modest $100 via Anne Waldman’s First Baby Poems and The Milk of Universal Kindness. More →
If you don’t score those signed editions of Art Spiegelman and Junot Diaz at the anti-NYU-expansion auction, don’t worry — their John Hancocks will also be on offer during an auction that will help fund the St. Mark’s Bookshop’s impending move. Among the 50 signed first editions and ephemera on offer are works by Yoko Ono, John Ashbery, Patti Smith, Paul Auster, Bill Berkson, Richard Hell, Wayne Koestenbaum, E. Annie Proulx, Sam Shepard, Peter Straub, and Lynne Tillman. The big ticket item, at a reserve of $2,500, is a first-edition boxed set of Maus, signed and heavily annotated and illustrated by Spiegelman. And poetry buffs will also be excited to see a working manuscript for Iovis Trilogy by Anne Waldman.
This may be the only time when buying a book online will actually help the bookshop (the virtual auction goes from Dec. 3 to 15) but if you’d like to browse the merch while sipping wine, some of it will be on the block during a live event Dec. 5, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Admittance is $5.
Like anyone who has to move, the St. Mark’s Bookshop has sent out an e-mail asking friends for help, though it isn’t promising free beer. The embattled shop, which is on the brink of relocating to a mystery space in the East Village, is calling for volunteers to help it create “a hybrid organization that would present nonprofit arts programming, including a comprehensive roster of author events, lectures and literary gatherings housed by a community-supported bookstore, a physical brick-and-mortar space where people meet, discuss ideas, browse, discover and enjoy non-electronic books and publications and listen to great writers present their work.” It’s uncertain whether you’ll also have to help it move its couch. If you want to be a part of the shop’s advisory committee, here’s the whole e-mail. More →