"I can't believe I'm turning into one of your sad stories, but I've just lost my lease. I have to be out by the end of January. I'm absolutely determined to find a place and move the shop (probably in the East Village, since nobody can afford the West Village anymore)."
That's what Bonnie Slotnick of Bonnie Slotnick Cookbooks wrote in to local blog Jeremiah's Vanishing New York back in November, when she learned that a rent hike would force her out of the West 10th Street home her shop has occupied since 2000. It originally opened in an office basement in 1997, according to the New York Times, for Slotnick to sell rare and out-of-print cookbooks from the past century. However, it didn't take long for unexpected help to come along
After reading about the store's search for a new home, siblings Margo and Garth Johnston have offered Slotnick the commercial space in their East Second Street brick townhouse. "Their late mother, Eden Ross Lipson, was the longtime children's book editor at the New York Times Book Review, and it's a book-loving family," Slotnick wrote in a follow-up email to the blog. "Read that again, jaded New Yorkers! These wonderful people read of my plight and reached out to me because, in their eyes, a bookstore is the ideal tenant."
As Slotnick prepares for a February 1st opening, her current shop is only open by appointment. And while the size of the new space was not specified, she writes that it's "bigger" than the 350 square feet the Times says she occupies now, and also includes a back garden.
"The words 'thank you' are hardly adequate for what I want to say to Margo and Garth," she added, "but if every New Yorker joined me in saying them [sic], that would be about right."
· Bonnie Slotnick Redux [JVNY]
· How to Stay in Business If You're an Independent Bookstore [Racked NY]