In a time when New York City bookstores are dying a thousand deaths, it's heartening to see an old favorite come back to life. Left Bank Books has officially opened in its new location on 8th Ave. between 12th and Jane.
I am happy to say that the little shop has not lost its warm and bookish charms. Under a pressed-tin ceiling, the books are stacked neatly in dark wooden shelves and milk crates. Many are still piled on tables and packed in boxes, waiting to be organized. As the sign on the door says, "We are open, though far from completely unboxed. If you can tolerate disorder, please come in."
Outside, chairs await browsers and friends, just as they did back on 4th Street.
The shop is located in a building that dates back to 1840, according to the knowledgeable fellow I spoke with inside, and was one of the first, if not the first, structure to grace 8th Avenue when it was extended northward--or maybe southward. Anyway, it's been there for a very long time. Let's hope Left Bank lasts a long while, too.
Here is the row of Federal buildings the bookshop occupies, photographed in 1929 and today. Nice to see some parts of the city haven't changed much at all.
More on this bookstore's recent brush with death:
Save Left Bank Books
Left Bank & Cherry
Left Bank & Lee