Wednesday, April 10, 2019



After 35 years in the Village, formerly as Biography Bookshop, bookbook on Bleecker Street will be closing.

I spoke to co-owner Carolyn Epstein who told me, "It started with the rent, but then we decided it's just time for us to stop." The rent is going up, and while the landlord is willing to negotiate, in order to run the bookstore, they'd need a rent reduction and that's not going to happen.

"I'm 70 years old," Carolyn said. "I'm just tired." She and her husband, Chuck, opened the original shop in 1984. They were pushed out of their former space by a rent hike 10 years ago--and the spot went to Marc Jacobs.

It's always a sad day when the city loses another bookstore. In their email announcement of the closing, Carolyn and Chuck write, "Keep supporting our independent bookstore friends in Greenwich Village at Unoppressive Non-imperialist Bargain Books, Three Lives & Company, Mercer Street Books, and Idlewild."

Bookbook will continue to sell books on the street, on 12th and Hudson by Abingdon Square during the Saturday Farmer's Market and possibly on Carmine by the pickle stand. Of course, Carolyn added, "If there's a cheap flight to Paris, I'm not selling books on the street." In her semi-retirement, she hopes to catch up on travel and Tai Chi.

Bookbook closes May 15. Beginning April 15, they will begin discounting everything in the store at 20%-30% off. After that, follow them on Facebook, Instagram @bookbooknyc, and their email list to find out where they will be.


Scout said...

bookbook is located at 266 Bleecker Street. It's an unusual building for New York, the original three-story building on the lot, with commercial space on the ground floor, and one (relatively small) duplex apartment on floors 2 and 3. It's assessed at $5.5M, and the annual property taxes are around $25,000. However, some websites are listing the monthly rent for the store alone at $18,000, which seems bizarre.

John K said...

I went to the closing/moving sale for the Biography Bookshop, but I don't know if I can bear to go to one for its successor. I do try to patronize the stores they mention, along with others like McNally-Jackson, Greenlight, Community Bookstore in Brooklyn, etc., and will aim to continue doing so even more going forward.