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It's a strange time for book lovers in New York City. Not only is Borders shutting down, but today is also the day Cooper Union meets with the owners of St. Mark's Bookshop about a potential rent reduction. Their East Village space currently costs $20,000 a month—more than the 34-year-old business can afford.
Over on Vanishing New York, Jeremiah has published an open letter to Cooper Union, listing all the times the Bowery landlord has failed to protect local businesses from gentrification. He concludes with a threat towards whatever might move into the space if the book store leaves: "Nothing will thrive there—no bank, no cupcake shop, no kitten adoption center."
Weirdly, on the New Yorker book blogger Macy Halford also mentions cats in her St. Mark's post: "When news reached me Friday that a link to a petition to save St. Mark's books was going around the Internet, I got that queasy, vertiginous feeling you get when you’ve been dumped, fired, evicted, or told that your kitten’s been run over." But unlike Jeremiah, she's not convinced that rent control is the answer. And on the Awl, Choire Sicha is even more skeptical, arguing that asking for rent breaks is simply not how business works. His solution: Fewer internet petitions, more buying of books.
· An Open Letter to Cooper Union [VNY]
· Should We Fight to Save Indie Bookstores? [The Book Bench]
· Saving the St. Mark's Bookshop (From Itself) [The Awl]