Saturday, March 20, 2010

Things to do on a nice spring day: Buy something from an independent bookstore

An EV Grieve reader sends along the following e-mail...



St Mark's Bookshop is my favorite bookstore. They've been a gathering place for authors and readers on the cutting edge of literature, politics, art, and cultural theory for over 32 years now. And they're facing a daunting retail economy at the moment. I'm challenging my friends to SUPPORT ST MARK'S BOOKSHOP *TODAY* by buying a book (or 2, or 5) Today, if you are so moved.

Stop by the store on 3rd Avenue, call them up at 212-260-7853, or check out St Mark's Web site:

A FEW BOOK SUGGESTIONS:

JUST KIDS, by Patti Smith, a memoir about her young days with Robert Mapplethorpe, *SIGNED*, $27 (they're actually now out of signed copies...)

LET THE GREAT WORLD SPIN, a novel of New York in the 1970s by Colum McCann, $15

"STORE FRONT: The Disappearing Face of New York" A beautiful and heartbreaking book of photography by James T. Murray, Karla L. Murray, $65

A new book of poetry, BORIS BY THE SEA, by Ugly Duckling Presse editor, Matvei Yankelevich, SIGNED, $14

THE OTHER SIDE OF PARADISE, a memoir of a journey from surviving a heartbreaking Jamaican childhood to discovering her voice, by Brooklyn performance artist and Def Jam poet, Staceyann Chin.

THIS IS BERLIN NOT NEW YORK, a DVD about 10 underground New York artists traveling to Berlin to make art and friends. $16


Thank you for that e-mail... of course, there are many fine independent book shops around...such as East Village books...



And Bluestockings on Allen Street...Here's a list of independent book sellers in NYC. And this is a favorite topic of Jeremiah's Vanishing New York. He has written extensively about the loss of stores, particularly in the West Village. Here's a post on the new location of Left Bank Books.

10 comments:

Melanie said...

I agree..was at St, Marks Book Store yesterday with my best friend. They have some good sales on books and funny and "old timey"birthday cards. We just marveled about the place. I love it. Blue Stockings too and the others are great. Long Live Them All.

Anonymous said...

Indie bookstores = wonderful employees, wonderful selection. Paying $65 for a photo book? No so much.

$65!!!! C'mon!

Anonymous said...

I have to say that the St. Marks Bookshop isn't so indie and hasn't been for years. And God forbid one of the employees give out something other than attitude. I'd rather support some of the smaller shops.

esquared said...

yeah, go get and read let the great world spin by colum mcann. wnyc had a segment on colum and the book. here's a recap of colum reading at 92y, via paperbackgirl. and alphagirl's appreciation of st. mark's bookshop. soooo good.

Anonymous said...

Yea, I've yet to meet a "wonderful employee" at St. Marks Bookshop...

Barbara Hanson said...

Went yesterday, as I often do on a Saturday, and picked up an Ian Rankin, whose books I am racing through.

Gee, I've never had problems with the staff there. I suspect this is a case of you get what you give.

Karen Lillis said...

Hmmm, it's still independently owned. What's your definition of "more indie"?

In my definition, St Mark's bookshop is and has been incredibly important to the indie press community. They have sold the hell out of so many indie presses over the years--poetry, fiction, plays, Eastern philosophy, queer theory, fringe political presses/periodicals/and newspapers, litmags, art presses, I wonder how many of those were able to make a name for themselves or survive or even thrive *because of* St Mark's Bookshop. They showcased these things before there was an internet, before there was a picture of every book cover at the touch of a button. Most of the Downtown Collection at NYU library came from the St Mark's consignment section, and I don't think it's an exaggeration to say they have one of the densest poetry sections (esp. of living poets and small poetry presses) in a bookstore in North America.

Is it an indie crime to be a successful indie bookshop?

Karen Lillis said...

....to continue my train of thought--and when you have given a forum to, and made room for the success of, so many indie presses, you have done a great service to the diversity of voices in the cultural conversation. I think that St Mark's Bookshop, like City Lights in SF, is a very rare animal. An unique type of meeting place among diverse people seeking the newest books in the arts and theory in a wildly diverse city.

Girl said...

What Karen Lillis said.

Girl said...

What Karen Lillis said.